_______               __                   _______
       |   |   |.---.-..----.|  |--..-----..----. |    |  |.-----..--.--.--..-----.
       |       ||  _  ||  __||    < |  -__||   _| |       ||  -__||  |  |  ||__ --|
       |___|___||___._||____||__|__||_____||__|   |__|____||_____||________||_____|
                                                             on Gopher (inofficial)
   URI Visit Hacker News on the Web
   URI   Workers quit jobs in droves to become their own bosses
   DIR   text version
        alecbz wrote 2 days ago:
        Something that keeps me from wanting to work for myself is how much I
        think I value/need to be working with other people. Both just as a form
        of social interaction, because my work is important to me and thus
        naturally I find I can connect well with people I work with, but also
        because I find a lot of my motivation and energy often comes from being
        a part of a team.
        As I write that it's kinda weird in that socially I feel very much like
        an introvert (social interaction is very valuable to me but it does
        "use up" energy), but I guess I'm a "work extrovert"?
        Invictus0 wrote 2 days ago:
        Economic boom leads to increase in entrepreneurship. News at 11.
        synergy20 wrote 2 days ago:
        The question is really about *medical insurance*, if anyone(including
        his/her spouse and children) can buy a reasonable priced health
        insurance without a big company employer, we can all be our own bosses.
        until then, it's more like a gamble if you want to fly alone.
        pythonbase wrote 2 days ago:
        So if everyone become their own bosses, who's gonna work for them?
        jeandejean wrote 2 days ago:
        It's hard to believe that quitting the job of head of marketing in a
        company for examining returned items from Amazon is an improvement at
        all... If this is what it means, I'm glad with my current job :-D.
        lou1306 wrote 2 days ago:
        A recent article [0] draws an interesting comparison with the aftermath
        of the Black Death in England. Briefly, peasants just refused working
        the aristocracy-owned fields. No matter the (harsh) countermeasures,
        the situation just never went back to the pre-plague levels. As a
        result, the aristocracy had to sell some of the fields to the richer
        farmers, resulting in a much strenghtened middle class.
        [0] [1] via
   URI  [1]: https://prospect.org/labor/great-escape-why-workers-quitting-p...
   URI  [2]: https://pluralistic.net/2021/11/29/ordinance-of-labourers/
          foxhop wrote 2 days ago:
          Bill and Melinda's Trust has locked up the majority of farm land in
          USA. The peasants are screwed. The middle class is gone. People think
          more monoculture with machines is the answer. Technology will never
          supplant nature, but it might cause a collapse & reboot. You can't
          eat AI, you can't eat a digital twin market model.
          Local food economy is the real economy.
            lotsofpulp wrote 2 days ago:
            >Bill and Melinda's Trust has locked up the majority of farm land
            in USA.
            source? [1] This article says the Gates' or their foundation might
            have a few hundred thousand acres, but the USA has orders of
            magnitude more farmland.
   URI      [1]: https://newspunch.com/billionaire-globalist-bill-gates-sud...
   URI      [2]: https://stacker.com/stories/1578/states-most-farmland
              jd3 wrote 2 days ago:
              I remember reading about this on HN earlier in the year —
              according to LandReport, "[t]he cofounder of Microsoft and his
              wife rank as America’s largest private farmland owners." [1]
              [2] I think the gotcha here is that they rank as the largest
              /private/ farmland owners, not the largest singular owner of
              farmland (including corporate farming conglomerates).
              I think this story went "viral" through this BusinesssInsider
              article from May 2021.
   URI        [1]: https://landreport.com/2021/01/bill-gates-americas-top-f...
   URI        [2]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25779681
   URI        [3]: https://www.businessinsider.com/bill-gates-land-portfoli...
        mshanu wrote 2 days ago:
        Most of the organisations expects their employee to demand than being
        offered. Take promotion for that matter, how many organisation have the
        culture of offering without demanding
        intricatedetail wrote 2 days ago:
        Some governments lobbied by big business smear self employment as a way
        of avoiding taxes. In my country they restricted service based business
        with revenue tax (over 50% effective) and no ability to claim expenses.
        The legislation is so complex, corporations avoid buying services out
        of fear of getting a fine and business goes to big corporations that
        provide workers on demand. 
        It's funny that these big corporations are actually involved in tax
        avoidance, but corrupt government say nothing about that.
        So far at least 35% quit self employment as it is pointless.
        clement_b wrote 2 days ago:
        Considering tech workers only. If a substantial number of them moves
        from employment to self-employment, being someone's boss may become a
        better deal. If this trend is systemic:
        - The value of workers willing to be employed will increase, even more
        so in specific fields. Whatever the current compensation (dollars,
        flexibility,...), it's going to get better.
        - As this happens, some organizations won't accept to pay a premium for
        their existing pool of candidates and will expand their horizon to
        (finally) hire previously ignored populations.
        - Freelancing platforms will get even busier, and finding work will get
        harder and harder—especially now that these new self-employed workers
        compete with the entire world and not with other business units and
        colleagues. Many will come back from it.
        - When they do, their old job won't be available anymore. Getting a new
        one will be stressful due to the increased competition from all the
        disgruntled self-employed coming back and the increased pool of cheaper
        candidates now preferred by employers.
        I've personally made the employed → self-employed move about 3-4
        years ago, and back. Although there are clear benefits to being
        self-employed, there are also clear ones to being a full-time employee
        (maybe this is more the case in Europe where I'm based, though). So, I
        can see why people make the move given the current context, but I can
        also see why a huge chunk will realize being your own boss is not
        necessarily as good as it sounds.
          mcv wrote 2 days ago:
          I made the switch to self-employed in 2012. Then back to employment
          last year, during the Covid lockdown. And recently back to
          self-employed again.
          On the whole, I prefer the freedom of being self-employed, especially
          in regard to time off; I take take as much or as little time off as a
          want, whereas in employment, I'm limited to what my contract allows.
          Of course I can buy extra or have them paid out, but it's really the
          extra bureaucracy of working for a company that I dislike. Working
          for myself is easier.
          But another big difference I noticed is compensation: employment was
          a massive pay cut. And this seems consistent with previous
          experiences; Dutch employers just don't want to pay that much for
          software engineers. As a freelancer, it's easy to make 50% more. It's
          not an easy comparison because I also have to pay more taxes, save up
          for my own retirement, pay my own disability and other insurance
          that's normally taken care of by the employer, but even then, the
          difference is stark.
          If more people becoming self-employed means more employers will raise
          developer and other salaries, that would be awesome.
        MrDresden wrote 2 days ago:
        Just... be aware of the survivorship bias in these kinds of articles.
        I've been planning to go solo for more than a year. I've been saving
        up, and working on validating my ideas on the side while still working
        a full day job.
        Most startups/entrepreneurs fail, so plan for that eventuality. And
        delay quitting that day job as long as possible.
        I've obviously only gotten this advice from other sources and not from
        personal experience, so be skeptical...
        ..and remember the survivorship bias in everything you read about this
          AussieWog93 wrote 2 days ago:
          If you can, dip your toes in the water before jumping in.
          I run an eBay store that makes around $20k a month and is still
          growing, but it started as a side gig while I was still working
          (making less than 5k a month, but I was only working on it for maybe
          8-10 hours a week).
          Actually validating your ideas before fully committing is a great way
          to minimise risk and avoid procrastination.
            altdataseller wrote 2 days ago:
            Nice, what are the gross/profit margins of an eBay store? Know it
            depends on what you sell but always interested in launching one.
              AussieWog93 wrote 2 days ago:
              >Nice, what are the gross/profit margins of an eBay store?
              For us (retro games), it's about 50% overall.
              Of course, this varies greatly from product to product.
              Interestingly, most of our higher value products tend to also be
              higher margin.
              We've increased revenues significantly by focussing more energy
              on getting promotions right for said high value, high margin
              >Know it depends on what you sell but always interested in
              launching one.
              Then do it.  Buy something undervalued from Facebook Marketplace
              and flip it, or import a small batch of a product with low local
              competition from Alibaba.
              You can optimise from there, but starting small is absolutely a
              great way to learn the ropes.
              Worst case scenario, you've lost a couple of hundred bucks and
              learned a valuable life lesson.
                themaninthedark wrote 2 days ago:
                This is what worries me, about our society and way of life in
                I look at your margins, high ~50%. I look at what you sell,
                retro games. Not a necessity and also not something that more
                can be made of, so fairly safe. Unless there is a downturn,
                then I hope that you have something tucked away.
                I look at the recommendation: "Buy something undervalued from
                Facebook Marketplace and flip it, or import a small batch of a
                product with low local competition from Alibaba."
                And I look around and see the same pattern being repeated.
                People becoming middle men, inserting themselves in supply
                chains and charging margin. Rise and repeat and you get more
                people just repackaging and charging more for what are simple
                products or things that people might want but do not need.
                I dislike this sort of activity because the more margins that
                are paid mean the more money is siphoned off, fine for luxury
                good not so great for necessities.
                I worry because as more of our economy is devoted to this
                activity, when there is a downturn large numbers of people lose
                their jobs.
                I hate it morally because it goes against my views of a "good"
                society. We have created societal structures where people are
                close to the decision making process where as before we had
                Kings and courts. We have the ability to do the same with
                manufacturing, where the people could order directly and not
                through the "courts".
                  AussieWog93 wrote 2 days ago:
                  >People becoming middle men, inserting themselves in supply
                  chains and charging margin. Rise and repeat and you get more
                  people just repackaging and charging more for what are simple
                  products or things that people might want but do not need.
                  I understand where you're coming from, but I think you're
                  misunderstanding why many people buy the things they do.
                  Most consumer purchases outside of food, rent and utilities
                  aren't sacrifices made to made to optimally meet a physical
                  need but instead a fun activity that the consumer engages in
                  order to make them feel special/important.
                  You can see this in economic terms if you go to buy a
                  second-hand appliance, for example.  A current-model washing
                  machine that costs $800 in store might cost $300 on Gumtree
                  or Facebook.
                  Even accounting for the depreciation (which might be $50 on a
                  year-old machine), less than half of the perceived value is
                  actually in the washing machine itself.  The rest comes from
                  the luxury experience of purchasing a new appliance - looking
                  up reviews online, comparing prices, convincing yourself that
                  this particular model is optimal, going down to the nice
                  store to get it, haggling the guy down and finally unwrapping
                  your shiny new thing.
                  It may not be an optimal distribution of resources in terms
                  of achieving mankind's greater goals, but most retailers are
                  a luxury service just like wedding photography, fine dining
                  or high-class escort services.
                  We exist to meet a demand.
                    pashamur wrote 1 day ago:
                    The other reason that prices are way cheaper second hand is
                    that the buyer is taking the risk of buying a lemon -
                    versus some sort of guarantee (usually) when you buy new.
                    The seller has more information about the object in
                    question than the buyer (i.e. wifi card on laptop is flaky,
                    for example), so buying secondhand implies more risk, which
                    drops the exchange price.
                    I think that this affects the price of new vs used moreso
                    than the experience of purchasing it.
                      AussieWog93 wrote 1 day ago:
                      Again, though, most of the economic value of that is in
                      the experience itself.    The retailer reassures you with a
                      warranty and you do avoid the small risk of painful
                      emotions (humiliation/disappointment) should something go
                      wrong with an informal transaction.
                      The short-term failure rate of second hand goods is
                      nowhere near the 50% that would be needed to justify the
                      price difference in terms of pure rational economic
                      terms, especially given that most informal sellers are
                      happy to guarantee that a product is working at the
                      moment of sale.
                  bradlys wrote 2 days ago:
                  The guy is basically a flipper and provides no value. He buys
                  up stuff off the market at a low price using his existing
                  capital and then puts it back on the market at a higher
                  It’s literally no different than the market manipulation
                  you’d see on World of Warcraft or some other game where
                  there’s a marketplace. People with a ton of money would buy
                  up items at a lower price and then relist them at a
                  ridiculous price - all the while having bots to watch for any
                  listings that were significantly under theirs to make sure no
                  one would buy except from them.
                  I hate how this is considered a “business”. What a joke.
                    jallen_dot_dev wrote 1 day ago:
                    So they already replied and said they buy wholesale or
                    refurbish, but even if they were purely flipping that still
                    provides some value. If they can buy low and turn around to
                    sell high, the obvious question becomes "why doesn't the
                    original seller just sell at the higher price if that's
                    what it goes for?"
                    Either they are better at reaching customers who are
                    willing to pay more (which provides value, that's a sale
                    that wouldn't have happened if the customer doesn't know to
                    look where it's cheaper) or the original seller just wants
                    cash now and doesn't care about getting max price (in which
                    case the reseller is being paid to supply liquidity and
                    take on some risk of not being able to offload it or it
                    goes down in price).
                    gruez wrote 2 days ago:
                    >It’s literally no different than the market manipulation
                    you’d see on World of Warcraft or some other game where
                    there’s a marketplace. People with a ton of money would
                    buy up items at a lower price and then relist them at a
                    ridiculous price - all the while having bots to watch for
                    any listings that were significantly under theirs to make
                    sure no one would buy except from them.
                    I don't get it how are they manipulating the market? Are
                    they really cornering the market? If they haven't cornered
                    the market, and are matching just below the price of
                    competitors, isn't that the exact competitive behavior we
                    want, driving down price?
                      bradlys wrote 1 day ago:
                      Are you asking about the WoW example?
                      Let's say an item's near true market value is something
                      like 10 gold (not going to get into how that is
                      determined but let's just go with it). It's going for 10g
                      normally. You have 10,000g+. You decide to buy out the
                      entire market from 0-25g. You can do this because the
                      market for this item might not be gigantic and/or you
                      have so much gold to afford this.
                      You relist the item for 30g. You setup a bot to buy
                      anything listed under 30g before anyone has much of a
                      chance to see it. The only listing people will see is
                      yours at 30g and those above you. Since you cornered the
                      market and are basically the only listing - everyone has
                      to buy from you for 3x the usual price.
                      You do this long enough - you get a ton of gold out of
                      it. Usually - the way the games try to correct this
                      behavior so it doesn't happen all the time is through
                      listing fees and other such things. It's to curb this
                      kind of behavior - some even have listing fees that are
                      directly tied to how much more you are selling this item
                      over what you could get for selling it directly to an
                      NPC. (To the point where it doesn't make sense to even
                      list the item - only makes sense to sell it to an NPC)
                      It's extremely rampant in video games with any kind of
                      market economy and thus why these mechanisms have to be
                      put in place because otherwise it ruins the marketplace
                      for many players. But - the great thing about our real
                      world is that there are no controls for this! Thus,
                      people can buy items for cheap, corner the market on that
                      item, and make a killing. All the while - they take in
                      real money from real people and give literally no fucking
                      value to the system. They are purely rentiers.
                        jallen_dot_dev wrote 1 day ago:
                        So this ebay reseller has cornered the market on retro
                        games? I find that hard to believe.
                    AussieWog93 wrote 2 days ago:
                    Thank you for your moral condemnation!
                    It's especially appreciated as you fundamentally
                    misunderstand how reselling works!
                    For what it's worth, most of my stock comes from smaller
                    resellers themselves.
                    I will buy large lots that are inefficiently packaged (say,
                    an entire collection of 500 games) and split it into
                    optimally-packaged smaller lots that collectively have more
                    value to the consumer than the lot I bought.
                    We also repair and refurbish huge amounts of consoles (and
                    onsell what we don't refurbish to others who do) and would
                    probably divert an entire pallet of faulty stock every 6
                    months from ewaste.
                    Of course, sometimes we do stumble across undervalued small
                    lots and flip them for immediate profit.  In these
                    instances, we're absolutely flexing our capitalistic muscle
                    all over people who can't afford to spend $20 on an
                    undervalued N64 game worth 5x that.
                    themaninthedark wrote 2 days ago:
                    I think that resellers have some use in a market.
                    Rye bread for an example, I like rye bread but only eat it
                    occasionally. Same with tomatoes and avocados. I and the
                    farmers and manufactures can't deal with trying to juggle
                    and maintain inventory.
                    But cars on the other hand, if you were to set up your
                    manufacturing side with some inventory(so not JIT), you
                    could make every car to order.
                    Imagine a world where you could go online, pick exactly
                    every option and feature and then have the car delivered in
                    a couple of weeks.
                    Instead of the current reality of dealerships who hold a
                    large amount of inventory, have to negotiate for deals and
                    search for the features you want.
                    I view it the same way that I viewed High Frequency
                    Trading, sure the dealers and traders provide "liquidity"
                    but the value for their margin they take is marginal.
                      HeyLaughingBoy wrote 1 day ago:
                      > Imagine a world where you could go online, pick exactly
                      every option and feature and then have the car delivered
                      in a couple of weeks.
                      You can do this now: [1] It just ends up being
                      delivered/sold through a dealer. OK, so these days it
                      will be more than a few weeks...
   URI                [1]: https://shop.ford.com/configure/edge/model/custo...
          phasersout wrote 2 days ago:
          I've saved enough money to wither a bad year or two before I went
          solo. Takes the anxiety and makes for a good night sleep, even if
          there is no immediate job lined up...
        ThinkBeat wrote 2 days ago:
        We have a giant jump in the number of new businesses now.
        A majority of them are more spontaneous 
        and less well conceived by people with much less 
        experience with all aspects of running your own
        I read that there have been several 100.000 of new
        business registered.
        All of those will have to try and climb on top of each other
        to be heard.
        Let us say that 1000 new mobile dog grooming business have been started
        in Denver. They all need a van and equipment. 
        There are already 100 mobile dog grooming businesses, some do very well
        an established clientele, a known name, and organic growth from happy
        businesses.   Others do not.
        How will all the new dog groomers be heard?
        Who will be inventive enough or rich enough to hire someone, to create
        a solid and successful marketing campaign?
        Traditionally on average 20% of new business fail within the first
        (Depending on type of business, some fail more often than others).
        I predict we will see solid increase how many businesses fail.
        A lot of people will lose their savings. 
        Unless something drastic changes a lot more will be without health
        Within 6 months to 2 years there will be a horde of people who wish to
        return to being an employee of an established business, while being
        worse off financially.
        I hope I am wrong.
        (All numbers used about dog groomers are made up. Pure fiction)
          daddylongstroke wrote 1 day ago:
          Like everything else, this is very relative to locality.  You'd be
          shocked at how hard it is to find any service business (pick one:
          plumber, well work, electrician, tree removal, etc.) to even come out
          to do an estimate in my area.  I do a lot of tree-work for my
          neighboors simply because there is nobody else willing to do it. 
          From talking with family and friends, it seems to be a common
            HeyLaughingBoy wrote 1 day ago:
            I can think back 15 years ago to a friend -- a software test
            engineer -- who started a handyman business on the side, hearing
            the same complaint from his clients. 90% of success is just showing
          PeterisP wrote 2 days ago:
          There's lots of money to be made there - in your examples, the people
          selling used vans (and then re-buying them cheaply from new companies
          going out of business), and the internet megacorps selling
          advertising to all the dog groomers trying to be heard. In a gold
          rush, most of the miners get nothing, but the people selling shovels
          can have a good business.
          jaypeg25 wrote 2 days ago:
          Looking at the chart toward the top of the article, I couldn't help
          but get a similar feeling. A huge spike of self employed workers in
          the early 2000's that preceded the crash and Great Recession. I'd be
          curious to see statistics on what these self employed workers were
          doing in 2004-2007, but I assume many of them got into the idea of
          flipping houses?
          Either way, I worry that in a few years time we'll see a market
          correction of all these self employed workers and I wonder what its
          impact will be. Will they just go back to corporate life? Will it
          even be that easy to do so?
        jimt1234 wrote 2 days ago:
        "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." I feel like
        it's the best of times to be in business for oneself. The ease of
        access to customers and services blows my mind compared to, say, 20
        years ago. However, I also feel it's the worst of times because of the
        high cost of health insurance. I've met countless smart, talented
        people that aborted business plans when they saw the high cost of
        health insurance. (I also find it odd that the article doesn't mention
        that. :shrug:)
        I guess the best strategy is to marry someone with good health
        insurance. ;)
        ab-dm wrote 2 days ago:
        I've been my own boss for ~ 7 years. 2 of those as a contractor, the
        other 5 as a SAAS founder.
        I've been able to take any day off I want, but I have NEVER been able
        to switch off. It took me about 4-5 years to finally be relatively OK
        with it. Annual leave is far better.
        I've taken a bit of a "holiday" this year by taking a full time role
        for ~8 months and it's been a great opportunity to recharge and work
        with amazing people that are much smarter than me, but I'm already
        feeling the pinch to go back and do my own thing.
        Having said all of the above, I'm very lucky that I'm 10+ years in the
        software industry and I've always got the option of a great full time
        role to fall back on.
        All in all, so far I'm not sure it was worth it. I wouldn't have been
        as successful and fulfilled if I kept my full time role, but I'd be a
        hell of a lot happier.
          mtVessel wrote 2 days ago:
          Did I read this right?    You took a full-time job as a "holiday" from
          the stresses of being your own boss?  I guess the grass truly is
          always greener.
            ab-dm wrote 2 days ago:
            Yep, and it's been great!
          tonyedgecombe wrote 2 days ago:
          I know what you mean. My support demands are quite low and just 9 to
          5 and Monday to Friday but I can never completely switch off. I'd
          like to go on holiday without a phone and laptop.
          Having said that I've never had the same level of autonomy in
          previous jobs. This has outweighed all the downsides.
        DoItToMe81 wrote 2 days ago:
        I'm not hopeful about this, honestly. Independent contracting sucks,
        and you're mostly treated as an employee without any of the legal
        protections of an employee.
          jasonkester wrote 2 days ago:
          But that’s the entire value proposition of contracting. You’re
          basically exchanging a ~100% increase in monetary compensation for
          those employee benefits and job security.
          If you don’t value the money higher than the benefits, then you
          shouldn’t take the contract.
            kkjjkgjjgg wrote 2 days ago:
            It's not just the money, it's literally not having a boss.
        hardwaresofton wrote 2 days ago:
        I wonder if seeing articles like these annoys the vast majority of
        people (underrepresented on HN of course) who are not comfortable
        enough with their finances or in life in general to do something as
        risky as this.
        This narrative of people quitting jobs en-masse is great fodder but
        just doesn't seem to come out in the numbers[0]. Is it that office work
        is just such a small percentage that it wouldn't show up? Are people
        who are quitting their jobs to drive for Uber or other such gig-economy
        jobs being counted (in my opinion they shouldn't be)?
   URI  [1]: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=JbGZ
        mempko wrote 2 days ago:
        This may confuse many HN folks but everyone being their own boss is
        what socialism is really about. Getting away from wage labor was always
        a goal. But if you follow the media, they will tell you it's about big
        government. I suggest people read about Democracy at Work and Richard
        Wolf's work.
          visarga wrote 2 days ago:
          In what country has this enlightened socialism been proven to work?
          In my opinion socialism cares more about who's winning at class
          struggle than people themselves, putting ideas/ideology over real
          life and long term economic growth. We all know it's bullshit because
          of the high level of government corruption and general impoverishment
          of population, they talk big ideals while suppressing dissent. When
          you're hungry and turn on the TV and it says you're living the golden
          age you kind of develop a sense for bs.
            Majestic121 wrote 2 days ago:
            Nordic countries are usually an example of socialism working well :
            [1] > The Nordic model comprises the economic and social policies
            as well as typical cultural practices common to the Nordic
            countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden).[1] This
            includes a comprehensive welfare state and multi-level collective
            bargaining[2] based on the economic foundations of social
            corporatism,[3][4] with a high percentage of the workforce
            unionized and a sizable percentage of the population employed by
            the public sector (roughly 30% of the work force in areas such as
            healthcare, education, and government).[5] Although it was
            developed in the 1930s under the leadership of social democrats,[6]
            the Nordic model began to gain attention after World War II.
            > As of 2020, all of the Nordic countries rank highly on the
            inequality-adjusted HDI and the Global Peace Index as well as being
            ranked in the top 10 on the World Happiness Report.[12]
            If you mean something closer to communism, then I agree with you,
            but I think socialism is wider than that.
   URI      [1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model
              mcv wrote 2 days ago:
              Less successful than the Nordic model but still much better than
              Soviet Russia, was Tito's Yugoslavia. I'm not an expert on it,
              but I believe it was big on cooperative ownership by the workers,
              rather than the state.
              But I don't think there's ever been a country where everybody was
              either self-employed or co-owner of their workplace. And maybe
              it's not even feasible to get there, but that doesn't mean it's a
              bad idea to try to move at least somewhat in that direction.
              Everybody being completely dependent on massive corporations
              certainly isn't great either.
                mschuster91 wrote 2 days ago:
                > Less successful than the Nordic model but still much better
                than Soviet Russia, was Tito's Yugoslavia.
                It was a brutal dictatorship, and while indeed better than
                Soviet Russia (which was not that hard given that Soviet
                leadership mostly was a bunch of incompetent drunkards), it
                didn't even come close in success to Germany, much less the
                Nordic states.
                > And maybe it's not even feasible to get there
                There is a feasible way - cooperatives ("Genossenschaft" in
                German). Almost everything can be organized that way, with the
                notable exception of public infrastructure like trains, roads
                and electricity/phone/gas/water grids. These best belong in
                government hands.
                  mcv wrote 2 days ago:
                  I didn't mean to claim Tito was a great guy, but from what
                  little I know, his approach to economy was more effective
                  than that of Lenin/Stalin (not to mention Mao).
                  Coops of some form in a democratic system would of course be
                  vastly preferable.
        askonomm wrote 2 days ago:
        Been a contractor for around 3 years now working remotely for start-ups
        and it's the best thing ever. No bullshit algo/whiteboard interviews,
        no having to lie about believing in the company "mission", much more
        flexibility over how much do I actually work, in whatever terms I work.
        Good luck pitching to a regular company that you want to only work in
        chunks of 2 or 4 weeks, and then take 2 week breaks in-between, which
        is what I can do now.
        Also, in general, you are treated as an equal and not as a subordinate,
        which is very nice.
          alex504 wrote 2 days ago:
          I am very interested in doing this. I am wondering if you have any
          advice for making the switch from full time? I know that my resume
          and experience are what these companies are looking for but I don't
          have a very good network and have found it harder to find companies
          than with FT work.
            davzie wrote 2 days ago:
            Hey. I actually started a YouTube channel specifically for this. I
            started freelancing and contracting around 10 years ago and found
            it really hard to understand how to approach everything so I’m
            basically spewing off my thoughts on that process and the things
            I’ve learned over the last 10 years. It’s a bit UK specific but
            the general mindset and lessons will still be relevant:
   URI      [1]: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheFreelanceSoftwareShow
              skinnymuch wrote 2 days ago:
              Thanks for this! Been trying to ween off YouTube and tv
              mindlessness. Listening to more productive stuff is one thing
              I’m trying to do. Subscribed.
            askonomm wrote 2 days ago:
            Open source work has helped me a ton. I'm active in the Clojure
            community and create open-source projects, as well as collaborate
            with other Clojurians every now and then, which builds credibility.
            My Github and references is 90% of my "sales". So once I had
            credibility, and my references prepared (they will always ask for
            references), I started contacting start-ups in the Clojurians Slack
            channel, and elsewhere where I found Clojure start-ups. The
            difference was that from the very beginning I communicated myself
            as a contractor, and not as a potential employee. Start-ups are
            pretty open to contractors, and part-time contractors, I've found.
            Probably because we mostly bill by the hour, and they don't have to
            pay any employee-related taxes on us, so they don't really lose
            anything with that. They pay for the work we actually do, and we
            get paid for the work we actually do.
            I don't know if this helps at all, but feel free to hit me up for
            more details if you want, my contact info is on my profile :)
        jcims wrote 2 days ago:
        I didn’t navigate the paywall but may have the gist from the
        One  thing that i don’t see mentioned is that this route can help
        people that have a criminal record get back in the game.  I took over
        running a small consulting firm for a bit over ten years and aside from
        the DoD and one bank, nobody ever asked for background checks of our
        asdff wrote 2 days ago:
        Employers are finally starting to get bitten for squeezing labor. Even
        highly compensated people suffer from being squeezed. Working long
        hours. Not being given the resources needed. Working outside your job
        description. Being asked to stay late again and again. Constant anxiety
        about deadlines and not having physically enough time to get the job
        done. Not having enough time to get everything done at home since you
        are spent from the workday. It's like, if there is so much demand for
        labor, why not hire more hands? Even if you are paying more out of
        payroll you are getting a better rested, more engaged, less mentally
        disturbed labor pool for your dollar, one that's not looking
        desperately at linkedin for an escape route from the hell you've
        I guess the question is whether or not employers will actually balk and
        start to offer better conditions, or collectively decide that they can
        get away with staying put with the status quo since people need to eat
        and afford shelter and they can get away with hiring more naive recent
        grads and having high turnover seemingly indefinitely.
        hanniabu wrote 2 days ago:
        Any good resources on how to start freelancing from the business side?
        That's what always held me back, the anxiety of being up either seeing
        up the structure or filing/accounting wrong and a cascade of issues and
        headaches following me because of that.
          iancmceachern wrote 2 days ago:
          I dont have any links but I'd be willing to help you.
          tixocloud wrote 2 days ago:
          What resources are you looking for in particular? There are plenty
          that apply to freelancers/consultants that would apply with a quick
          Google search.
          Ideally, it would be useful to setup a corporation to limit personal
          liability and keep your finances/accounting organized (I.e. use 1
          account for everything, keep track of key dates to file things, keep
          a log of all finances, schedule time for admin)
          asdff wrote 2 days ago:
          Find a good tax professional in your area.
        mmaunder wrote 2 days ago:
        Most are selling hours or expressing the intent to, as reflected in the
        articles data. If your are damn good, they sell themselves. If you’re
        not, you are going to regret transferring the risk of landing and
        retaining customers onto yourself from an employer.
        What I’m most interested in is what proportion are working to create
        a business that scales up. IP creators, manufacturers, service
        businesses, products. Those are the job creation machines that our
        entire economy will benefit from.
          schnevets wrote 1 day ago:
          Given the past year's move towards remote work and knowledge workers
          migrating away from big cities, I'd be very interested in how
          "scalable businesses" adapt. Not every emerging need can be met by a
          remote-only companies, cool things are going to happen when these
          trends collide (smaller cities becoming entrepreneurial hotspots,
          lean companies that attend to more niche markets, unique managerial
          agreements, etc.)
          iancmceachern wrote 2 days ago:
          Yes, the rest is just consulting (spoken with love as I am one)
        jordanmorgan10 wrote 2 days ago:
        I would be my own boss right now if health insurance for a family of
        five didn’t cost a small fortune. But it does.
          asdfsd234234444 wrote 2 days ago:
          Only in the US.
          dom96 wrote 2 days ago:
          Have you considered moving to literally anywhere but the US? Even
          Canada would solve this issue for you afaik
          silisili wrote 2 days ago:
          I'm actually convinced that single payer healthcare doesn't exist
          because companies lobby against it.  It makes zero sense for
          healthcare to be tied to employment.  But it sure makes folks
          hesitant to leave.
          I come from a -deeply- conservative family, a large one at that, and
          I still don't know a single person who supports our healthcare
          system.  The memes you read about evil republicans against it just
          aren't true.  So what's the real reason?
            JohnWhigham wrote 2 days ago:
            There was a bunch of exit poll statistics that Fox News of all
            places ran around the time of the 2020 elections. One such stat was
            more than 60% of people supporting a single payer healthcare
            system. Couldn't believe they let that air on Fox News.
            This is what happens when we have out-of-touch elite class running
            lotsofpulp wrote 2 days ago:
            >I'm actually convinced that single payer healthcare doesn't exist
            because companies lobby against it.
            I suspect big companies also lobby against allowing individuals to
            purchase health insurance with pre tax dollars if you are employed
            by a small company that does not offer health insurance.
            Similar to why an employee can save $20.5k of pre tax earnings per
            year if they work for an employer that offers 401k benefits, and an
            employee that works for an employer that does not offer 401k
            benefits can save $6k of pre tax earnings, IF they earn less than
            $68k per year.
            And I have never heard either a Democrat or "small government"
            Republican address this glaring piece of corruption.
            The cherry on top is that the legislation Democrats' are trying to
            push through right now gets rid of the backdoor Roth which allows
            people to save $6k in a tax advantaged Roth IRA if they are not
            eligible for IRAs, claiming that this is a benefit for the rich. 
            But even the Democrats do not seem to want to touch the $20.5k
            (employee) or $61k (employer + employee) 401k limit, which benefits
            even richer people working for richer companies.
            dan_mctree wrote 2 days ago:
            For some reason both Republican and Democrat politicians seem more
            economically right-wing and more corporatist than either of their
            I wonder if that's a natural consequence of the giant part of the
            voter base that feels obligated to vote for one of the two parties
            for social/tribal reasons alone. Without these voters pressuring
            their parties to align more with them in economic terms too, the
            effect of corporate pressure may be felt more strongly by
            politicians, leading to a drift to corporatism.
              lotsofpulp wrote 2 days ago:
              Democrats did try for a "public option" or something like  it in
              2009, but they always barely have the Senate, and have 2 or 3
              Democrat Senators that are closer to Republicans who force them
              to cut back on spending.  I remember Lieberman from ACA times
              forcing quite a few changes to ACA, and the same exact thing is
              happening this year with Manchin/Sinema.
              Although the bigger issues is probably distribution of resources
              within American society.  Lots of people were pissed that even
              the compromise that was ACA caused their healthcare costs to
              rise, even though it objectively lead to many more Americans
              getting access to healthcare.  The country might say they want
              everyone to have everything, but no one will sign up to pay.
              Whereas before, say the top 50% of the population got access to
              healthcare because they worked for government or large enough
              private companies to afford it, now that the bottom 50% had
              access to healthcare via subsidies and laws ensuring no one could
              be excluded from health insurance, the costs rose for the top
              50%, and I hear endless whining about it, ignoring the fact that
              the bottom 50% can actually get an annual physical now.
            mcv wrote 2 days ago:
            Well, the Republicans in Congress do vote against single-payer
            healthcare. Probably because companies lobby against it. And while
            conservative families may want better healthcare, they're not going
            to get it as long as they vote for Republican politicians. Or
            moderate Democrats for that matter, because they're really not so
            different when it comes to corporate lobbying.
            If you want actual representation, you first need to change the
            tdeck wrote 2 days ago:
            Doctors' groups have consistently lobbied against it because they
            fear it will reduce their power and earning potential. That's the
            most influential lobby. The AMA killed Truman's national health
            plan and lobbied hard against Medicare.
        austinthetaco wrote 2 days ago:
        Something that gets me is how to even get started down the path of
        being your own boss. The insane networking required to keep up a
        contract queue is a lot. I'd love to setup an ecommerce business or
        side business, but there is so much clutter out there on the internet
        about getting started, it's hard to find the needle in the haystack for
        how to do it right. I'm a web dev with about 10 years of experience,
        but my business know-how is basically at 0. Anyone have suggestions on
        where to start?
          kkjjkgjjgg wrote 2 days ago:
          As a web dev, the problem would probably too many offers, not too
          few. Headhunters call regardless of what you put on your resume.
          I would say "just give your resume to some agencies", but it's like
          leaking your email address on the internet, you will get spam
          forever. Or use LinkedIn.
          tixocloud wrote 2 days ago:
          Start with your immediate network. Folks that already know what you
          can do are likelier to hire you first and as you build out your
          reputation, feel free to piggy back on other consultancies, VC firms,
          LAC-Tech wrote 2 days ago:
          > Something that gets me is how to even get started down the path of
          being your own boss. The insane networking required to keep up a
          contract queue is a lot.
          I sent a message to a slack channel on the 20th of October, talked to
          a bunch of people, and started another contract on the 1st of
          And - I must stress this - I have no big names on my resume, I'm not
          the author of a famous open source lib. I'm just some dude who
          specialized and took a real interest in the business vertical I was
          People need software professionals. Be easy to find. Talk it up where
          people in your industry hang out. Have conversations without any
          thought of whether they'll go anywhere. No hard selling required.
            chii wrote 2 days ago:
            > I sent a message to a slack channel on the 20th of October,
            talked to a bunch of people
            the fact that you have a bunch of people you can message (in slack,
            or email or otherwise) is already a leg up, and that would've taken
            work to setup previously - may be even years for such a network.
            When people ask about networking, or how to line up clients for
            contracts, they are actually asking the methods to which you (or
            anyone) setup such a list of contacts.
              kkjjkgjjgg wrote 2 days ago:
              Could have been just some slack channel of some open source
              project? Like let's say you want to be a Rust developer, there
              may be a channel advertised on the Rust web site? Not saying
              there is, but I remember seeing such things for several
              programming languages.
          fmitchell0 wrote 2 days ago:
          One suggestion is to do a half-step instead of full leap.
          Find a small business or smaller shop to work for (even accept less
          pay and use a little savings so you know how that feels), raise your
          hand to do stuff you normally wouldn't do (if you're an engineer,
          volunteer to help with sales, marketing, customer service, etc.),
          make nice with the owners, and constantly learn what they do.
          Once you get their playbook, jump out on your own or side hustle
          practicing it until you're ready.
          That is what I did. It took a few years, but I'm happy I did.
          bladegash wrote 2 days ago:
          My advice is to find a company that more or less specializes in IT
          consulting/outsourcing and spend a couple of years learning the
          ropes. Get an understanding for how it operates, how they generate
          leads, the contract side, negotiation, etc.
          Doing this will give you not only a good sense of the business side,
          but also whether it’s something you really want to do on your own.
          Also, find a niche and specialize. Part of the reason there is so
          much noise is your skill set is presumably generic. Saying “I’m a
          senior web developer” puts you in competition with millions of
          The competition is global as well, when it comes to the freelance
          market (e.g., India, Pakistan, etc.). Whereas, I’m a “Senior
          developer in X technology” when there are only 5-10 others who can
          do the same thing puts you in a league of your own.
          brentm wrote 2 days ago:
          Where to start really depends on what your goals are but you mention
          no knowledge of business. You'd probably quickly realize you know
          more than you give your self credit for. If you want to check out a
          classic primer there is as book called The Personal MBA. It's a super
          high level overview/quick read and does a good job covering a bunch
          of basic business topics.
        maerF0x0 wrote 2 days ago:
        > “When I’m at a red light, I don’t feel like I’m rushed to get
        home anymore.”
        This article and elsewhere I've observed that many employers are
        running antiquated or misled patterns that cause significant anxiety in
        their workers (examples are performance reviews[1], stacking
        unrealistic and unneccessary deadlines in attempt to push additional
        "performance", and excess hours for the appearances of productivity)
        I wonder how many employees would be staying if their employers weren't
        doing dark patterns?
   URI  [1]: https://lattice.com/library/how-your-brain-responds-to-perform...
          dan_mctree wrote 2 days ago:
          My employers don't follow any of these types of dark patterns and
          have been remarkably relaxed around how the time and effort I put in.
          Despite that, I'm still constantly in stress mode and demand of
          myself that I'm productive every little second of the day. I feel
          guilt for taking breaks, despite these being encouraged and feel like
          I have to show up exactly on the clock despite no one saying anything
          about the many colleagues I have that don't.
          I've come to believe this anxiety actually stems from high school,
          where teachers would constantly demand punctuality, full focus and
          productivity. It was an environment where glancing out of the window
          could get you yelled at. Years later, I still seem to carry that
          sense of being constantly on edge, that someone is watching, judging.
            UweSchmidt wrote 2 days ago:
            You can go to your boss for a feedback meeting, establish that
            everyone is happy with your work. Then, don't frame it as a
            problem, just take some time to describe your work process, and how
            it is not 8 hours of typing, but also some lateral thinking,
            research, and say you wonder how if it may be a bad look. You can
            calibrate the expectations for your future work in this meeting.
            Your boss is probably happy you didn't call for that meeting to
            quit or complain about a workplace incident or whatever and will
            assure you that you should proceed as you outlined.
            Work is a psychologicall rich topic, related to self-worth and
            livelihood. The work situation could be problematic and you might
            sense something happening behind the scenes. Trust your feeling.
              nyulmalac wrote 2 days ago:
              This is a good advice. Also worth to discuss it with a
              I had fight similar issues. My excuse to stand up is to eat
              something. Guess how thin I am… Luckily I changed a lot, it was
              an 8 year long journey which still ongoing. For me what helped is
              experimenting, e.g. do some small „crime“ -> experience the
              lack of arising problem / or that the issue can solved. If you
              never try just fear, The fear just grows.
              For me it was especially hard to accept that I just need
              sometimes to stare out of the window or draw some graphs by hand,
              which then ends in the bin. So seemingly unproductive stuff…
              But in reality this is productive, my brain is working and try to
              process the topic. Furthermore even just an ordinary discussion
              with some friend can fire the aha moment.
          godot wrote 2 days ago:
          I can attest to this. I've been at my current (remote) job for 3
          years and we don't really do much of performance reviews (there
          exists some reviews but nothing super formal like any other company I
          worked at before). There isn't much of the dark patterns you describe
          here. I totally have that same feeling of "When I'm at a red light, I
          don't feel like I'm rushed to get home anymore" now, whereas that
          really wasn't the case back at previous jobs.
          kqr wrote 2 days ago:
          Just from personal experience: more.  The past few years I've worked
          at a company that really values its employees and does none (or at
          least very few) of those destructive common things. They also do a
          surprising number of things right in terms of how to actually
          motivate people (the autonomy, mastery, purpose stuff.)
          For the first time in my life, I didn't feel the desire to find a new
          employer at the two year mark.
            quickthrower2 wrote 2 days ago:
            Nice! Did you get lucky or did you have a plan to seek out such a
              kqr wrote 1 day ago:
              100 % luck. I didn't even know such a company existed before
              this. I was looking for a change in general, hit an unlucky
              streak of bad interviews, and then this company apparently saw
              something good in what was yet another interview I bombed, asked
              what they could offer to pay me such that it would be easier for
              me to make a decision, and that was that!
                quickthrower2 wrote 1 day ago:
                Cool. I had the same luck after many bad jobs. The working
                world in general and including programming tends to lack
                empathy by default so it’s nice when you find a company that
                has it and wants to foster a good culture.
                It’s hard to tell in advance but any kind of bad vibe … in
                my experience my gut has been good but it’s a matter of
                trusting it and having the courage to turn back an offer that
                is “logically” good.
        maerF0x0 wrote 2 days ago:
        Observing over my approximate half of a life I've noted a very
        intriguing trend -- one in line with "Privatized profit, socialized
        losses" which I believe I first heard through Noam Chomsky.
        I've noted that there has been an increasing requirement for systemic
        risk to be absorbed by individuals in order to keep up in capitalism.
        For example once upon a time one could reasonably try and retire with
        Bonds as a major asset grouping. Later stocks were the minimum viable
        investment vehicle (more risk, for basic return), some might even say
        now inorder to get an ok return one needs to chase risk further with
        things like ARKK tech stocks and cryptocurrencies.
        Similarly has been observed in employment. At one time, during strong
        unions, a lot of the risk was forced upon the employer -- for example
        defined benefit pensions, or disability benefits that might have seemed
        extreme by today's standards. Nowadays having a single employer is
        basically only slightly better than being a contractor, but pays much
        much less -- the livable compensation now requires much greater risk of
        being a contractor (from self insurance, contract stability, risk of
        not being paid etc).
        Anyone else observed similar patterns?
          dzonga wrote 2 days ago:
          once reagan took over, busted unions and fired those unionized air
          traffic controllers / workers. it was a free for all on american
          workers. if the president was able to do that, it signalled to
          corporations, that they're now the robber barons with free reign over
          workers. ever since then the american worker, has been a puppet. pay
          can only go so much, even then pay can't get ya kid into a good
          school, can't help ya ease anxiety over healthcare, shitty police or
          now things in america will slowly correct, if employees / fmr
          employees can hold on to their new found power. but don't worry, a
          war is being fought in the background to strip workers of this new
          power. don't be surprised around mid-elections if new irs reporting
          laws are introduced, so the common man can be hemmed up for unpaid
          taxes on his new side hustles.
          vineyardmike wrote 2 days ago:
          I get the pattern you're highlighting, but I don't think the example
          with bonds is very good. A lot of other factors going on.
            maerF0x0 wrote 2 days ago:
            please list some for our education/discussion :)
              vineyardmike wrote 2 days ago:
              Well the idea that risk is transferred to individuals via
              employment makes a ton of sense for reasons you highlighted.
              Companies basically were just selfish and realized they can get
              away with it. To continue the trend, look at uber which uses
              "contractors" to get even less obligations from workers. "Gig
              economy" workers proves your point even more.
              BUT bond yields and the like are result of gov policy and QE that
              aren't made to provide employers with risk aversion (directly,
              cheap credit is good for avoiding risk). They were made to
              address economic issues unrelated to employment. This required
              riskier investments to get 7+% yield, but its not companies doing
              the shift like other examples. I think a better way to prove your
              point was the transition from Pensions to 401k's since this
              dramatically changes the "save enough to retire" risk, while
              providing less risk to companies on funding employee retirements.
          unmole wrote 2 days ago:
          > some might even say now inorder to get an ok return one needs to
          chase risk further with things like ARKK tech stocks and
          Returns of broad market index funds like SPY are not considered OK
          now? Am I living in an alternate reality?
            maerF0x0 wrote 2 days ago:
            > Returns of broad market index funds like SPY
            I believe that in short and due time we'll find that much of those
            returns were 1) non-real due to inflation, 2) will crash back to
            historical means when we return to less strange monetary policies
            (such as non-zero interest, and selling at the end of QE), and
            possibly an effect from retirement/inheritances of baby boomers
            Only time can know if I'll be right or not. I actually have a bit
            of a hypothesis that cryptocurrencies like BTC isn't actually
            productive right now, it's just wealth preserving and looks like
            it's "exploding" only because it's relative to a inflationary fiat
            wayoutthere wrote 2 days ago:
            Why chase 30% Y/Y gains when you can chase 300%? At least until
            these late days of summer are over…
          throw63738 wrote 2 days ago:
          In my experience corporations and employment are for "socialising
          profits".   As skilled developer I can make good money on my own. In
          employment I have to sponsor admin stuff, less productive coworkers,
          Corporations are basically form of social welfare for most people. In
          past there were less unproductive people attached.
          I don't buy  risk being shifted. Housing or gold is very conservative
          investment, and it had good returns.
            vineyardmike wrote 2 days ago:
            > Corporations are basically form of social welfare for most
            people. In past there were less unproductive people attached.
            Very true! Unfortunately, those people were almost literally left
            in the dirt, so of course we wanted society to provide them
            welfare... and we have all the issues of socialism and free riders.
            We need to separate welfare of people (which is natural to have
            free riders, but also necessary cost of a society to maintain
            itself) and employment/corps who shouldn't be filling the job of
            welfare providers.
              maerF0x0 wrote 2 days ago:
              this kinda reminds me of the BS Jobs book[1].  People have been
              given bullshit jobs as we ran out of need for them in the
              workforce because America is having a hard time figuring out a
              way to give those people purpose and economic resources in the
              absence of a "job".
              [1] Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber
        ldjkfkdsjnv wrote 2 days ago:
        The truth of the matter is we are compensated nowhere near the value we
        create. And so if you work for yourself, and actually do create
        something that others will pay for, you will usually far exceed your
        normal salary.
          yashg wrote 2 days ago:
          I was an entrepreneur for 10 years. I would have made more in a job.
          Eventually I realized I am better off creating value for others and
          earn a lot more. Hung up the entrepreneurial boots and life has good
          since. Some people can make it, some can't.
          siruncledrew wrote 2 days ago:
          The key caveat is here is that changing circumstances does not mean
          easily reproducing the exact results from path A to B.
          If someone is working at a prominent company, and (for example)
          making $200k while their employer is making $500k in revenue per
          employee, that's the personal output($) : input($) value ratio in the
          context of that job environment.
          Shifting to working for yourself doesn't mean immediately realizing
          that $500k monetary value equivalent for yourself instead. It depends
          on the business, business model, clients, capital, sales, operations,
          growth, etc, etc.
          In what I've observed from some colleagues that have done both, using
          this information as leverage for a raise or jumping ship to "climb
          the ladder" elsewhere can yield equally good if not better
          compensation results than just being your own business.
          Obviously there's nothing wrong with doing that and it's personal
          preference, it's just more of a naive assumption that own-boss money
          is always going to be >= job money.
          lotsofpulp wrote 2 days ago:
          Where does the idea that prices are a function of value even come
          from?  Even the most basic high school microeconomics course must
          teach students that prices are the intersection of supply and demand
          And it is trivial to see one’s self deriving great value from
          things like eating fresh fruit and produce and drinking clean water,
          but not paying anywhere near its “value” for it.
          Edit: replace the word value with utility in my comment to get a
          clearer idea of what I am trying to convey.  Value is too vague of an
          idea to use for this topic.
            kkjjkgjjgg wrote 2 days ago:
            How do you determine value? I think you have it backwards.
              lotsofpulp wrote 2 days ago:
              As I write in my edit, I do not know what the word “value”
              really means, so but if we replace it with utility, then we see
              that we pay prices based on the options we have, not based on the
              utility it gives us.
              For example, paying $0.02 per gallon for clean, potable water,
              which surely one can agree has extremely high utility since it
              allows us to survive.  But also paying $100 for a Christmas tree,
              which has lower utility.  This is because we can get water for
              cheaper and the lowest price for the Christmas tree we could find
              was $100, but if water stopped being available for $0.02, then
              you bet people would pay $100 and even $1,000 for a gallon of
              Does that mean water started having more utility?  Not according
              to the definition economics used.  Whether or not water became
              more valuable depends on how you are using the word value, so
              that is why I think it is not really a good word for discussions
              of how prices are determined.
              You can sell a service to a business that is crucial to their
              continued operations all day long, but if someone else is willing
              to sell to them for less, then do not expect to get paid based on
              how “valuable” you are to the buyer.
                kkjjkgjjgg wrote 1 day ago:
                I think economists use the concept of "marginal utility" to
                solve the problem you describe. If you already had 10 glasses
                of water, the marginal utility of having another drink is very
                low. If you haven't had anything to drink for two days, the
                marginal utility is high.
                Your own example should make it obvious that "utility" is not a
                good way to think about value. Should people pay 100$ per glass
                of water, even if they live next to a river of fresh water? It
                wouldn't lead to good economic results to set prices that way.
                I think anything else than "what people are willing to pay"
                will ultimately lead to bad results. For example the misguided
                "value theory of labor" keeps messing things up and leading
                people down the destructive path to communism.
            dragonwriter wrote 2 days ago:
            > Where does the idea that prices are a function of value even come
            Basic economics.
            > Even the most basic high school microeconomics course must teach
            students that prices are the intersection of supply and demand
            Demand curve is marginal (internalized) value @ quantity, so saying
            that prices are the intersection of supply and demand curves is
            exactly saying that they are a function of value at market-clearing
            quantity, plus telling you where markey-clearing quantity comes
              refurb wrote 2 days ago:
              Right, but as an employee, the demand curve is your employers,
              not the customers.
              pashamur wrote 2 days ago:
              Basic economics assumes a functional and competitive market. The
              majority of markets in America no longer fit this criteria -
              today's corporate environment is closer to neo-feudal than
              capitalist; if we want to return to "true" capitalism, we need a
              lot stronger anti-merger and monopoly busting efforts.
              I highly recommend listening to "Bullshit Jobs" by David Graeber
              on the observed inverse relationship between pay and [actual]
              value (if we're talking about societal value, for example). There
              are exceptions to the rule, but the correlation is quite strong.
              shukantpal wrote 2 days ago:
              “Value” is subjective - the price is derived from the
              market-defined value. The OP is talking about the value they
              perceive their work to be.
              In that sense, prices are not a function of an individual’s
              perceived value of work.
                tomrod wrote 2 days ago:
                > “Value” is subjective
                Correct. This is the law of demand, and why price curves slope
                down with most goods (luxury goods excluded).
        undoxxing3256 wrote 2 days ago:
        My wife recently quit her job. She loved her job, she was passionate
        about it, her coworkers were wonderful. Then her employer go acquired,
        they hired a new manager who is abusive and micro-managing. She's
        classified as a frontline worker, and even got her first vaccine back
        in Jan 2021.
        Her reason for quitting wasn't just that her manager was bad, its that
        despite all the hard work the team put in, management just didn't care.
        They wouldn't even give ger a raise matching inflation, and they gave
        her a one time bonus of $640. Considering that she has to work close to
        55 - 60 hrs per week, and sometimes even weekends.
        So I'm not surprised that people are quitting terrible jobs where
        employees are used up, and spit out.
          megablast wrote 2 days ago:
          She lived a job where she was working 60 hrs a week?? That’s
          insane. And it crazy people accept that.
        softwaredoug wrote 2 days ago:
        I hope everyone considers themselves as working for themselves,
        regardless of the actual vehicle that attaches themselves to their
        current income stream (job or their own company or whatever...)
        Even self-employed, you still have many bosses (customers, etc). In
        fact _those_ bosses can be harder to fire depending on contracting
        terms... And you might find it harder to churn out the sales to
        maintain a steady income stream.
        Even company-employed, you still should frame things in
        working-for-yourself. What are you getting out of the relationship? Is
        the employer holding up its end for you?
        The traditional, paternalistic concept of employment is outmoded. It
        says your career growth should be managed by your employer (don't let
        it...). It presumes the work you do and your job are always 100% the
        same (they're not). It assumes a kind of one-sided evaluation of the
        employee, where the employer has all the power (very untrue these
          makeitrain wrote 2 days ago:
          My uncle owns a small business. He says it's great because he can
          pick the people he wants to work with and fire ones he doesn't like.
          I pointed out I have the same choice by walking off a bad team and
          finding a good one.
          6510 wrote 2 days ago:
          It will be a much better world if everyone thinks like that. Who
          knows, we might see a similar thing unfold in migration. Who really
          cares for public servants who act like your master? A Turk told me
          one time that people there working for government use to do it...
          drum roll ...as a public service! As a side effect the new won
          respect helped promote their business.
          Mobility is [somewhat surprisingly] all good for economic stability
          and scaling.
          We can greatly improve the economy if everyone continues to learn and
          moves to a position that makes better use of their new and lost
          abilities. We will also have to improve the corporate bus factor and
          improve job quality in all possible ways that do but also those that
          don't cost money.
          One might even end up in a job that thy actually cares about rather
          than poorly pretend. Wouldn't that be something?
          sharklazer wrote 2 days ago:
          I hate to break it to you, but you’ve got tradition backwards. We
          have always been bosses of ourselves, it’s only been recently
          we’ve been made wage slaves. Even 100 years ago, it was conceivable
          for most to live off the land, you owned. Now, who can own land?
          Otherwise I agree.
            rodelrod wrote 2 days ago:
            > to live off the land
            Yes, in a good year.
            > you owned
            Only in the Americas. And we all know how that was made possible.
              burntoutfire wrote 2 days ago:
              > > you owned
              > Only in the Americas. And we all know how that was made
              Yup. The term "landlord" didn't originally mean "a guy owning a
              bunch of flats for rent in London", but rather a noble who rented
              out his lands to local peasants.
          adam_arthur wrote 2 days ago:
          It's a nice lie to tell yourself, at least.
          Unless you are independently wealthy, you are beholden to your
          employers. Sure, you can always jump ship and find another job, but
          whatever you end up in you will ultimately have to do work you don't
          enjoy from time to time, or play politics to keep everybody happy...
          or deal with a coworker you don't like.
          Certainly you could try to operate that way in a traditional job, but
          you would quickly be fired.
          If you were truly your own boss you would have 100% discretion in
          everything you do, have 100% autonomy to make design decision,
          technology decisions etc.
            gassiss wrote 2 days ago:
            > but whatever you end up in you will ultimately have to do work
            you don't enjoy from time to time, or play politics to keep
            everybody happy... or deal with a coworker you don't like.
            This also applies to you if you're a business owner. Just replace
            the word "coworker" with "employee" or "customer" (or "partner")
            I think the point the person you replied to was trying to make is
            that you should treat yourself as your own business. Your
            employer-employee relationship is the same as any other
            business-business relationship. You're basically selling your time
            and you should continue to do so for as long as it is beneficial
            for you.
              adam_arthur wrote 2 days ago:
              I agree with the sentiment that viewing the relationship that way
              can be empowering.
              It's better to be loyal to yourself and your future prospects
              rather than those of your employer, particularly in regards to
              your career.
              But it's dishonest to consider yourself your own boss when you
              are financially beholden to other people.
              The ability to walk away with 0 consequence is what gives you
              power and independence in life. If you still care about some RSU
              grant that vests at date Y, then you are not a free person, or
              fully in control of your destiny. If you choose job X because it
              pays more than job Y, despite being less fulfilling, same story.
              You may be happily captive, but captive all the same.
              marcosdumay wrote 2 days ago:
              The difference is that "customer" is usually diversified, while
              "employee" is usually a completely concentrated dependency.
              Of course, there are many (in absolute numbers) exceptions, they
              are very rare on the "employee" side, and not too common on the
              "customer" side.
          Cthulhu_ wrote 2 days ago:
          I feel like your comment is really empowering. I've felt like I
          should feel lucky to be where I am, especially at my last company,
          but honestly I felt like I was just being dragged and pushed around
          to do whatever made my employer make the most money. Working in
          consultancy (the fancy name for hands-for-hire), I made my
          then-employer between 1.5 and 1.8 million in revenue over the span of
          about 8 years, while earning... a fifth to a quarter of that.
          Recruiters have started approaching me again, really pushing me to
          work for banks and insurance companies and the like, trying to make
          me feel like I should be lucky to be granted these opportunities,
          really stringing me along without naming any figures. I really should
          take a firmer stand and take over those conversations - send me an
          e-mail with the companies, technologies, job openings, and wage
          ranges, then MAYBE we'll talk. But I'll switch jobs on MY terms, not
          because some salesman who doesn't even know what the fuck I do (else
          they would do it themselves) tells me what a great opportunity it is.
          whateveracct wrote 2 days ago:
          Think of yourself as a business of one
          voiper1 wrote 2 days ago:
          >It says your career growth should be managed by your employer (don't
          let it...)
          Apparently, this _used to be_ a reasonable option. But "employer
          loyalty" is much rarer, so now it's a totally unreasonable option.
          koonsolo wrote 2 days ago:
          I have the same mentality as you.
          But over the years, I came to realize that the majority of the
          workforce just wants to live the easy life, where everything is done
          for them. They want to be taken care of.
            emptyfile wrote 2 days ago:
            Of course I want an easy life lol. What kind of nonsense is this
            post? And posters being offended by the "judging tone". LOL
            Judge me all you want. HN jet setters and growth hackers don't even
            cross my mind while I'm living my "easy life".
            barrkel wrote 2 days ago:
            Also known as specialising. You probably don't rear your own farm
            animals for food - you want an easy life and let someone else do it
            for you. Likewise for your fish - you probably don't want to head
            out to sea and cast your own net, you want the easy onshore life.
            You probably haven't gone to medical school - you want to be taken
            care of by professionals, rather than do it yourself.
            And so on.
            (I'm reacting to your judgemental tone in large part because it's
            just naive. Nobody is good at everything and it's not a matter of
            wanting an "easy life". Without specialising, we'd be living off
            the land or in the wilderness with no more technology than we can
            assemble from raw materials. Anything more, and you're in "easy
            life" territory.)
              koonsolo wrote 2 days ago:
              Sorry about the judgemental tone, that was not my intention. I
              just wanted to explain that not everybody wants to be
              I'm also a specialist (software-architect), so I don't have my
              own farm animals ;).
              But I don't think I explained myself properly, so I will try
              again. As an employee, a lot of things are decided for you: which
              company phone you have, company car, your career trajectory,
              bonuses, holidays, etc. You also know how much money will be on
              your bank account at the end of the month. And when you're sick,
              you know you're getting paid (EU here :)).
              This is what I consider the "easy life", because a lot of stuff
              is decided for you because of company policies. The good thing is
              that you don't have to overthink all this stuff.
              But I don't want that. I want to have a car that I choose, want
              to negotiate my rate all the time, want to take holidays on my
              own terms, etc. The price that I pay? A lot of administration.
              And when I'm sick, I'm not getting paid.
              I used to think that everybody wants this freedom that I desire,
              but that is not the case. And there is definitely nothing wrong
              with that.
              Just like everything, it has benefits and drawbacks, and
              everybody makes their own choice. And I think still more people
              prefer to be an employee than self-employed.
            Ekaros wrote 2 days ago:
            I don't specially like soliciting work. I could earn lot more by
            being contractor. But currently I get paid if I have work to do or
            not really. Not really my problem. And living in country where
            firing is complicated, the job security isn't bad.
            math_denial wrote 2 days ago:
            >I came to realize that the majority of the workforce just wants to
            live the easy life, where everything is done for them
            Why is this wrong? Maybe I am abnormal but for me a job is just a
            method to receive money.
            It is the case that my passions are unpractical and not
            economically profitable, so I work on the part that I can tolerate
            and leave the business part to people more inclined to do well in
            that part. 
            It seems like the struggle of entrepreneurship is interpreted
            morally, while it really doesn't have a moral dimension at all.
              urthor wrote 2 days ago:
              It's about proactivity and your ability to manage what happens to
              you at work.
              The passively employed, especially outside technology often have
              worringly insecure career trajectories.  We are an insulated
              caste against the problems of the world, partially because we
              keep up with tech skills.
              The stories are crazy from my former roommate who works in
              "change management," aka babysitting employees who've done the
              same task with the same software every day for 15 years through
              an unheaval.
              They become like adult babies when you tell them to do something
              different than what they've done before.
              If you take away the requirement for continuing education of the
              technology work, some extremely nasty things happen to the more
              passive members of the workforce.
            usrnm wrote 2 days ago:
            > They want to be taken care of
            That sounds overly simplistic and a bit rude. I want to do the work
            I like, which happens to be writing code, and I don't really care
            about the business, management or accounting. And the best way to
            do only the things I like is working at a big company, where
            everything else is done by other people. Why exactly is this wrong?
              koonsolo wrote 2 days ago:
              Sorry if I came off as rude, because that was not the intention.
              I'm a freelancer, and my best friend is an employee (both
              developers). He knows I earn a lot more money, but he explicitly
              chooses to stay as employee. Why? Because all of the things that
              you mention.
              Plus, when he goes home, he spends time with his family and
              hobbies. For me, my company is always there. Still need to do
              administration, see which things I can write off, etc.
              I used to think everyone would be like me, once they know how
              companies really work. But that is not the case. I'm pretty sure
              everyone knows what they can expect from the company, after a few
              years in the workforce.
              So I definitely don't consider your choice as wrong. It's really
              about which things you prefer in life.
                Notanothertoo wrote 1 day ago:
                Does freelancing really beat faang employment and salary
                potential?  I don't think so.
                barrkel wrote 2 days ago:
                It's almost certainly not that simple; you are good at and
                enjoy (or at least don't dislike) doing some things that your
                friend does not. Maybe you have a larger risk appetite. And so
              tonyedgecombe wrote 2 days ago:
              >I want to do the work I like, which happens to be writing code
              Funnily enough that's why I started working for myself.
          resonious wrote 2 days ago:
          I agree with this completely. A lot of people dream about "becoming
          their own boss", but then let themselves get dragged around by a
          crappy company.
          Job markets do vary from industry to industry so this might not apply
          to absolutely everyone, but if you're suffering in your current job
          then I recommend finding a new one ASAP. Your existing experience
          gives you a lot of leverage during the job search; it's not "fresh
          out of college" again.
            quickthrower2 wrote 2 days ago:
            I think there are systemic issues though. Things you can’t escape
            no matter where you work.
            One of the most insidious is minor or major reorganisations or even
            the company being taken over. You could jump more often to
            compensate but then you are a jumper.
            My thoughts on this are I need to network over learning the next
            thing or getting skilled up ready to jump the next interview hoops.
            The networking might reveal opportunities that are more equal
            rather than the “we’re hiring” “full stack” fare that is
            generally out there.
              resonious wrote 2 days ago:
              Similarly I imagine a client might suddenly go under or cut you
              off. It's pretty hard to make money 100% in a vacuum.
              Networking and marketing vs interview skills is a pretty solid
              point, though. If you prefer one of those over the other, then
              definitely lean towards the associated career path.
          LAC-Tech wrote 2 days ago:
          I think you - and a lot of other people - overstate how hard this is.
          It's really not much of a churn to get leads in todays market. Even
          for someone who keeps working at small companies (whoops) in a tech
          backwater like me.
          Also clients are really not like bosses at all - even for me who is
          on the "software pro" - to use the Daedtech terminology [0]- end of
          the self employment spectrum.
          - There's no polite fiction that I'm going to stick around
          - The 'interviews' are way shorter, because it's so much easier to
          fire me. I'm backing myself to deliver which is a show of confidence
          - It's just a much more honest and less un-equal conversation. I can
          survive without them, they can survive without me, but we have a
          mutually beneficial relationship. Not one based on power or
   URI    [1]: https://daedtech.com/a-taxonomy-of-software-consultants/
            JamesBarney wrote 2 days ago:
            > - The 'interviews' are way shorter, because it's so much easier
            to fire me. I'm backing myself to deliver which is a show of
            I've never found this to be the case.  Interviewing for an employee
            position was usually < 4 hours.  But I have to spend way more time
            than that meeting with clients and putting together proposals
            before winning a contract.
            softwaredoug wrote 2 days ago:
            I was a consultant for 8 years and burned out, in part because of
            the context switching between sales and delivery. It can be
            More specifically not the sales per se but the extensive amount of
            in depth relationship work at very sophisticated clients. Or the
            cheap clients that always want something for nothing. You can have
            a lot of inbound, but how many of those clients are qualified?
            Then there’s the complicated contract negotiation process, which
            is its own huge headache with months of legal negotiation extending
            well beyond the desired project start time. Often from big
            companies that role your eyes at you when you say you want to
            Then when it’s all said and done, chasing payment. They promise
            they’ll pay in 30, 45, 60 whatever days, but there’s always an
            excuse for not getting paid. Often made up ones that actually
            violate your contract with them. But what are you going to do, sue?
            You can stop work, and we did, but then you’re maybe burning
            bridges and disrupting the tech colleagues you work with day in,
            day out…
            Relationship work is important in any work. And you’re _always_
            selling and communicating value. But when it becomes all about
            administriva like contracts or being paid, it’s no fun. I don’t
            think it’s a valuable use of smart peoples time.
            Finally, there’s a certain type of company that hires lots of
            consultants. And they often aren’t the ones you would choose to
            work with. They hire consultants because they have bigger
            organizational dysfunction but lack awareness to tackle that
              desireco42 wrote 2 days ago:
              I always found companies with disfunction are the ones where you
              can get most benefit for yourself. You do have to make sure you
              work their disfunction to your benefit, not getting crushed by
              it. They usually have a lot of problems, some are solvable, some
              are not, you have to pick solvable ones and do good job and you
              will have a good time.
              arcturus17 wrote 2 days ago:
              If you get to a certain size, and it doesn't need to be huge, you
              can delegate those tasks, can't you?
              Just hire an administrator that's competent - they most likely
              don't need an MBA to do the tasks you're describing.
                emptyfile wrote 2 days ago:
                That's just called a company my man...no, it's not easy to run,
                even if everyone involved is competent and you delegate things.
                  arcturus17 wrote 2 days ago:
                  I did not say it was easy to run. I was implying it's the
                  only way to avoid doing marketing and sales, finances and
                  accounting, operations, etc. by yourself since those jobs are
                  never going away.
                  Also, as astonishing as this may seem to a lot of HNers, most
                  modern economies are built upon SMEs. There are good, normal
                  people working in small businesses all over the world. You
                  could run an operation with half a dozen people and focus on
                  technical delivery and strategic sales (I don't think you can
                  ever delegate high-level sales). This poses its own set of
                  challenges but it really is a middle ground between having to
                  do everything as a sole trader and living stressed out of
                  your tits trying to build a unicorn.
                simonh wrote 2 days ago:
                So the solution to people working for a boss and not themselves
                is to hire people to work for you?
                  arcturus17 wrote 2 days ago:
                  > So the solution to people working for a boss and not
                  themselves is to hire people to work for you
                  Your comment is not only facetious, but also quite
                  I was not replying to the idea that "everyone should work for
                  themselves". You've just taken that idea and replied to
                  yourself, not to anything I was saying.
                    simonh wrote 2 days ago:
                    I do apologise, my comment wasn’t really directed at you
                    at all. I was simply lampooning the idea, apparently held
                    by some here, that working for others is an inherently
                    abusive relationship. That employers are exploiters.
                itsoktocry wrote 2 days ago:
                >Just hire an administrator that's competent
                The idea that this sort of thing is easy is precisely why most
                startups fail.    Sure the ideas and tech and implementation are
                hard, but that happens to be what most of us are good at.  But
                guess what?  The administration of the business is also hard
                This is just the inverse thought process of a couple of
                business students with an app idea for which they plan on
                outsourcing the programming for $5 an hour.  It's a simple app,
                no problem!
                  arcturus17 wrote 2 days ago:
                  > The idea that this sort of thing is easy is precisely why
                  most startups fail
                  Most small businesses fail, too, but a small business such as
                  a boutique consulting services company does not have the same
                  risk profile as a startup.
                  I never said it's easy, but it's certainly not as hard as
                  building a unicorn. The difficulty is commensurate to the
                  risk and the scale, I hope you can appreciate that?
                  If you don't want to delegate, then the other only
                  alternative is to put up with doing these jobs (marketing &
                  sales, finance & accounting, etc.) since they are not going
                  away regardless of your technical expertise.
                simonswords82 wrote 2 days ago:
                It's an undervalued skill to delegate and manage people, even
                menial ones.
                So whilst your point is spot on I've learned (the hard way)
                that not everybody has the ability to delegate. It's a skill
                just like any other.
              benlumen wrote 2 days ago:
              This is an excellent summary of tech consulting.
              lobocinza wrote 2 days ago:
              The thing that I hate the most is filling taxes.
                desireco42 wrote 2 days ago:
                You are missing out greatly here, as this is where the benefit
                of being independent is. You get tax breaks on pretty much
                everything you do.
                  massysett wrote 2 days ago:
                  This is no panacea, as it also means you have no employer
                  paying Social Security taxes on your behalf, not to mention
                  not getting any employer-provided benefits either.
                    withinboredom wrote 2 days ago:
                    You still have to pay SS (at least in the US and NL), it
                    just doesn’t come out of your check every month. In the
                    US, it’s pretty high (15%) IIRC.
                Aeolun wrote 2 days ago:
                I have literally never had a problem with this. Is there some
                part of self employed tax filing that I’m just missing?
                  lobocinza wrote 2 days ago:
                  I live in Brazil so things might be different. I have to fill
                  taxes monthly and the system to do it sucks. I have to clear
                  cookies each time I visit it or log in wouldn't work. I'm
                  probably overreacting because I find it extremely boring.
                    Aeolun wrote 1 day ago:
                    Oh, yeah, that does sound like a pain. My interaction is
                    limited to signing into the tax system once a year and
                    dropping my total amount of income and expenses.
                    Especially now that I’m not elligible for any startup
                    discounts any more (and sole proprietor, so no employees)
                    the thing has become almost automatic.
                    KronisLV wrote 2 days ago:
                    Just use a private browser window if it's so bad? Most of
                    the browsers have a mode like that that won't store cookies
                    for the sites that you visit in it. Nor should that mode
                    give any of your already present cookies to the private
                    session. You shouldn't have to clear all of your cookies to
                    just make one site not persist session data.
                    Firefox: [1] Chrome: [2] Edge: [3] Safari:
   URI              [1]: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/private-brows...
   URI              [2]: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95464
   URI              [3]: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge...
   URI              [4]: https://support.apple.com/guide/safari/use-private...
                      lobocinza wrote 2 days ago:
                      Thanks but who does not know about incognito mode? :)
                      It's not a big deal, I just have to clear/remove cookies
                      for just that site. I though it wouldn't work in
                      incognito mode because theoretically it would require
                      access to my client certificate which I believe
                      wouldn't/shouldn't work in a private window. Anyway I
                      tried and it worked because the site is not using it in
                      the end.
                        KronisLV wrote 1 day ago:
                        > Thanks but who does not know about incognito mode?
                        Just felt like the perfect use case for it, not sure
                        why it wasn't considered previously. Your update makes
                        sense and clears things up, though. Thanks!
                mpfundstein wrote 2 days ago:
                then hire someone to do it for you
                  lobocinza wrote 2 days ago:
                  I wish to do so, I approached a few and will definitely hire
                  one when I incorporate as a one person company.
                  The issue is that I did not find one with experience in my
                  activity as it is very particular when compared to that of
                  their average client. And I was reasonably scared that the
                  ones that I could hire could screw me. So I ended up studying
                  how things should be done for this particular case and I
                  think I'm better doing it myself.
                  sfgweilr4f wrote 2 days ago:
                  This is why I got an accountant who set up the aspects of my
                  side-hustle business I'm too stupid^H^H^H^H^H^H lazy^H^H^H^H
                  busy to sort out. Yes I could have done this all myself but
                  could I have done it myself the correct way from the outset?
                  Not a chance. I would have screwed up some detail.
                    6510 wrote 2 days ago:
                    Its silly, lots of people do their own taxes but forget
                    what they normally charge per hour and how slow they do the
                    taxes makes it not worth it. No one would hire them to do
                    taxes at those rates.
                      mpfundstein wrote 2 days ago:
                      this of course only works if you spend the time in
                      exchange for billable hours.
                      if you do it during down time or in your free time, you
                      of course save money.
                      until you screw up :P
            ttymck wrote 2 days ago:
            At first blush, I might guess "a tech backwater" would be easier to
            find leads. A tech hub will have so much noise and competition for
            those leads, even if the leads are more plentiful.
              sam0x17 wrote 2 days ago:
              I do miss the days when every teenager who "knows computers" was
              thought to be more technically competent than adults with 10
              years of industry experience and every small business and sole
              proprietor in existence was looking for a 100% custom website
              design and was willing to pay an 8th grader rather than a web
              design firm. Such were the early 00s / my teen years.
                winternett wrote 2 days ago:
                As someone who has been on the web site/app dev entrepreneur
                grind for quite some time now getting leads is a tougher game
                now more than ever. Social media is fraught with scammers and
                people with risky black-hat inspired SEO goals that I'm not
                willing to be a party to at all.
                I get lots of emails for jobs and generate estimates at least
                twice a month only to find out that the person is a scammer
                posing as a customer. I also get tons of spam that I have to
                sift through to make sure no customers are missed. It's far
                easier to go door to door at real business establishments than
                to get cold leads over the net now.
                I can't really complain though, it's still much better than
                working for warehouse development shops... Far better work-life
                balance, and I'm in better control of project quality, client
                management, and the types of projects I agree to complete.
                  sam0x17 wrote 2 days ago:
                  Frameworks and platforms like wordpress have really killed
                  the cottage industry of web design imo
            AnIdiotOnTheNet wrote 2 days ago:
            I think there's a certain type of person who has no trouble selling
            themselves and therefore finds this sort of thing easier than those
            of us who are most decidedly not salesmen.
              HeyLaughingBoy wrote 1 day ago:
              Yes there is, but sales is a skill that can be taught and
              Nextgrid wrote 2 days ago:
              Surprisingly (at least for me) I find that freelancing has made
              it much easier to solicit business than the hiring process as an
              When freelancing neither side has the expectation that this is
              forever. We both understand we have our own businesses but will
              benefit from this particular time-limited engagement.
              In contrast, in employment there's this whole charade where the
              company pitches it as a brilliant opportunity and you're supposed
              to play the game and pretend to care about their values, how
              exciting the work is or be enthused by their mission to change
              the world when ultimately the only thing that should matter to
              you is the paycheck.
              tixocloud wrote 2 days ago:
              I wonder if there’s opportunity to build a
              community/collective/agency to help software developers manage
              the admin similar to a brokerage model.
                jdsleppy wrote 2 days ago:
                Yes, there are many. [1] is one I've spoken with but haven't
                had an opening to work with (I think this is the one, they were
                called GSquad before).    When you get past the marketing site
                and hear from the people, it sounds more like a self-organizing
                software co-op.
   URI          [1]: https://mission.dev/
                lambertsimnel wrote 2 days ago:
                Could worker cooperatives serve that purpose? I suppose there's
                a trade-off between security in numbers and individual freedom,
                but maybe working conditions could be better (despite the
                constraints of a permanent job) if employees shared equally in
                the business without any non-employees holding voting shares.
                TheSpiceIsLife wrote 2 days ago:
                Yeah, it’s called regular employment.
                creinhardt wrote 2 days ago:
                Still involves a bit of selling, but isn't that basically
                UpWork's model?
                  urthor wrote 2 days ago:
                  I was extremely surprised how low Upwork's fees are.
                  In vanilla software consulting it's not uncommon for the
                  middleman to take 20% or a third off the top.  Or even more
                  extraordinary amounts in the more traditional places like
                  Upwork's taking less than 10%.
                  It's extraordinarily good value for money compared to many
                  recruiters and other middlemen.
                  The downside is of course there's a very good community of
                  talented international developers on there.
                    tluyben2 wrote 2 days ago:
                    > The downside is of course there's a very good community
                    of talented international developers on there.
                    There is a far larger community of horribly bad developers
                    on there, many of them working at low rates to get high
                    ratings. I am on both sides; hiring and getting hired and
                    the hiring part is far more beneficial imho. What is a huge
                    PITA as well; once someone who is rather mediocre (junior
                    with some promise for instance), after a few good reviews
                    they hike the price up so far that it makes no sense at all
                    hiring them. I have used upwork (and before than Elance and
                    others) for 20 years with 100s of people and almost always
                    people overplay their hand and come back begging for
                    another chance.
                      urthor wrote 1 day ago:
                      Sounds like the real world to me.
                      I guess I've never hired someone at cheap rates, I only
                      ever hired at 30 USD an hour.
                        tluyben2 wrote 1 day ago:
                        Same for me, but there are very many really
                        bad/inflated people on upwork for 30US/hr.
                      KronisLV wrote 2 days ago:
                      I actually freelanced for a while during college, in
                      parallel to studying CS, before i found local part time
                      employment as a developer.
                      Admittedly, there's a large amount of project postings
                      that have unclear or unrealistic requirements (feature or
                      estimate wise), almost always you can expect either some
                      outdated or obscure stack in pre-existing
                      codebases/platforms, typically some badly developed
                      WordPress site that you're supposed to fix or use for
                      things that WordPress isn't really suited for (advanced
                      CRUD), you'll almost never find projects with
                      documentation, any sort of a quality control/code review,
                      or even separate test environments.
                      There are good projects there every now and then too, but
                      be prepared to compete in a race to the bottom price
                      wise, knowing that many of those potential clients shall
                      pick the cheaper developers, which sometimes will result
                      in similar neglect of the codebases, because if you
                      accept multiple projects you only have so much time for
                      each (and the clients won't necessarily know any better).
                      Sometimes the developers are simply in a lower CoL area,
                      but depending on where you live, you'll also have to cope
                      with that, some projects will just be below your living
                      I'd probably say that in my limited experience, around
                      90-95% of the project postings on the site as a web dev
                      were like that at any given time, whereas around 70-80%
                      of the projects that i got to work on weren't
                      satisfactory in regards to how easy or even "safe" the
                      development process and communication was, even if i
                      tried avoiding the red flags for the most part. I got to
                      work for some people that were decent, however the code
                      quality wasn't satisfactory, nor was anything surrounding
                      the code itself.
                      There are circumstances in which freelancing through them
                      can work, you can also be even more selective with the
                      projects that you undertake, but unless you have a wide
                      variety of skills, you might find yourself missing out on
                      anything reminiscent of a stable income. The best idea
                      would be to somehow manage to find a few good clients and
                      build a longer term business relationship with them,
                      which is probably one of the better outcomes for
              LAC-Tech wrote 2 days ago:
              I don't think I'm that type of person. But at the same time I'm
              not the shiest programmer around. All I'm really doing is
              introducing myself.
          PragmaticPulp wrote 2 days ago:
          > And you might find it harder when trying to maintain a steady
          income stream.
          This can't really be overstated enough.
          Contracting is one of those things that sounds super easy when you
          first jump and you already have a client lined up.
          But maintaining a steady stream of work is often far more difficult
          than people expect.
          Getting consulting clients is a completely different skillset than
          doing consulting work. If you're not the type of person who enjoys
          networking, cold outreach, selling yourself, and chasing deals then
          the consulting life probably won't be as fun as it may sound on the
            jasonkester wrote 2 days ago:
            You can get around this by simply interviewing for a regular dev
            gig, then telling them you’d prefer to come on board on a
            That’s how I’ve negotiated my last several gigs, and it nicely
            sidesteps the business development issue.
              DnDGrognard wrote 2 days ago:
              But from a UK perspective the premium in the USA  for contracting
              like this is rather low - and you pay both sides of the SS tax.
              quickthrower2 wrote 2 days ago:
              That’s a different thing though? That’s contracting. There
              are even such contracts day rates on job sites so no need to
            parksy wrote 2 days ago:
            I felt the pain of losing a steady income stream before but for a
            different reason. I have no problem networking per-se but I did
            once rather blithely sign a really onerous contract with a massive
            soul-less organisation that buried me unpaid for about 9 months
            essentially reworking their entire CRM. Renegotiation was
            impossible, they'd just point at their massive legal department and
            I'd squeak and get back to work.
            When it was all done and dusted, every ounce of my energy had been
            poured into this one job for so long, the payment was like a middle
            finger and barely filled the hole of bad debt that had grown to
            cover basic living expenses, and it took a couple more months to
            reconnect with old clients and drum up some new work as I'd
            essentially fallen off the face of the planet in their eyes. It
            also took months to recover emotionally and start to feel some joy
            in life again.
            It was a painful, very real education, whereas as an employee
            you're shielded to an extent from the direct effects of this type
            of thing since your employer is still legally bound to pay you
            whether they make good or bad decisions client-wise.
            The risks in contracting and self employment are often subtle and
            not realised for many months until the trap is seen, and I doubt
            everyone making the transition is aware of all the tricks (net 30
            EOM) etc that seem innocuous at first glance but in combination
            really screw contractors down to terms much less comfortable than
            sitting in a cubicle 8hrs/day dealing with latent passive
            aggression from middle management. In the current system at least
            we just have to weigh up which option suits us better. I was
            certainly unprepared, but I survived and am stronger / more
            experienced now with only slight residues of latent psychological
            damage (mostly self-inflicted).
            tl;dr I agree. It's not all roses. Very simple mistakes based on
            subtle information can have very real, very painful consequences
            long term and a lot of this knowledge is only gained through
            hard-won experience. With more inexperienced contractors entering
            the market it seems like a field day for unscrupulous types looking
            to lock in some cheap labour without the annoying hassle of
            traditional employment laws but that's just my hot take. I'd
            encourage people to think very carefully before making any
            transition one way or the other that's for sure.
              tonyedgecombe wrote 2 days ago:
              I used to stop working once they were 15 days late. In general
              the people causing payment problems were not the ones
              commissioning the project. The project owner would kick up a
              stink and a cheque would arrive the next day.
                parksy wrote 2 days ago:
                Like I say, I made the mistake in signing the contract. In my
                case there was no "15 days late", it was payment on completion,
                and to the letter of the agreement the work wasn't complete
                until they said it was. Definitely do things different these
                Edit to add - as per your experience the team themselves were
                pretty good to work with but in my case they had no sway (or at
                least said they didn't) with whatever archaic nested
                babushka-esque financial and legal mechanisms this century-old
                institute had. Perhaps if I'd put my foot down and refused to
                work it would have forced a proper renegotiation and worked out
                better in the end but it was a constant state of "we'll be
                finished next week, just one more thing" so the old sunk cost
                fallacy was always in deadlock with pragmatism and the frog
                slowly boiled.
                  swishman wrote 2 days ago:
                  What do you do differently nowadays? How do you stop this
                    HeyLaughingBoy wrote 1 day ago:
                    You spend some time reading /r/freelance and learning from
                    their mistakes :-)
                    foobarian wrote 2 days ago:
                    You can learn some useful wisdom from drug dealers in the
                    show The Wire: always get paid upfront.
                    repomies69 wrote 2 days ago:
                    Isn't it quite obvious, don't do stupid contracts.
                    As a contractor/freelancer you can do any kind of
                    contracts. You can commit to free work for whole year if
                    you want (or are stupid enough to sign a contract that
                    requires you to work for free).
                    With normal employment there are lots of laws that protect
                    you so you don't have to think about your contractual
                    duties. Just turn up and do what is told and you will get
                    paid. When you do contracting it is quite different game.
                    tonyedgecombe wrote 2 days ago:
                    Don't do fixed priced work.
                      lobocinza wrote 1 day ago:
                      It can be difficult to find work that pay per hour but
                      almost impossible to find fixed price work that does not
                      result in at least some feeling of being exploited. And I
                      would only do fixed price work again if: a) The
                      deliverables are commoditized and I own the codebase; b)
                      I am desperate.
                        tonyedgecombe wrote 1 day ago:
                        I think there is a conflict of interest at the root of
                        fixed price jobs. You are incentivised to provide as
                        little as possible within that fixed price and the
                        customer is incentivised to extract as much as
                          lobocinza wrote 1 day ago:
                          Yes which's aggravated by many times the client
                          having unrealistic expectations. It's a race to the
            LAC-Tech wrote 2 days ago:
            > Getting consulting clients is a completely different skillset
            than doing consulting work. If you're not the type of person who
            enjoys networking, cold outreach, selling yourself, and chasing
            deals then the consulting life probably won't be as fun as it may
            sound on the internet.
            It's really not this dramatic.
            People need software developers. All you really need to do is let
            enough people - who can hire you - know who you are and what you
            do. I do this entirely online.
            I will say it's way easier when you specialize in a particular
            industry however.
              kstenerud wrote 2 days ago:
              It IS really this dramatic.
              And it's infuriating how many people keep passing this off as
              easy or "not that hard". Building up to deals is VERY hard unless
              you have the skillset for it, and it takes either a LOT of time
              to develop such a skillset (if you can at all), or it takes
              natural talent.
                LAC-Tech wrote 2 days ago:
                Fair enough.
                Maybe I just lucked into the right niche in the right locale at
                the right time because I definitely don't have some kind of
                amazing deal-building skills.
                tonyedgecombe wrote 2 days ago:
                That was never my experience. I found clients from my existing
                network and was always turning away work. My sales activity was
                passive rather than active.
                  kstenerud wrote 2 days ago:
                  And bully for you. That doesn't make it easy for other
                  people. I gave up after 2 years of losing money between the
                  few contracts I could scrape together.
              djrobstep wrote 2 days ago:
              The ease of this is really entirely dependent on knowing the
              right people.
              Years ago I tried selling myself as a freelancer, but in spite of
              doing fine work for one or two people, I couldn't find clients,
              so gave up - I realized that the trick is, you've got to have
              boss-tier or management-tier friends (aka, be upper middle
                winternett wrote 2 days ago:
                Pro Tip: Hire a marketing specialist. You don't have to do
                everything yourself, you just have to quickly understand,
                monitor, and properly respect all the aspects of doing the
                If that is out of budget, find a partner that can build that
                aspect of the business.
              PragmaticPulp wrote 2 days ago:
              > All you really need to do is let enough people - who can hire
              you - know who you are and what you do.
              Right, that's what I said: If you're not the type of person who
              enjoys networking, putting yourself out there, and setting up
              contracts with clients then it's going to be a pain to do this.
              > I will say it's way easier when you specialize in a particular
              industry however.
              I looked at your profile and it appears you are very specialized
              in a smaller (fewer overall specialists) market. Big fish in a
              small pond makes consulting easy. The average developer doing
              generalized work isn't going to have the same experience, though.
                LAC-Tech wrote 2 days ago:
                > Right, that's what I said: If you're not the type of person
                who enjoys networking, putting yourself out there, and setting
                up contracts with clients then it's going to be a pain to do
                LOL fair point. I guess I never really thought of what I was
                doing as networking. I don't exactly think of myself as a very
                extroverted, salesy kind of person. I just went about it from
                first principles - problem 1 was no one knows I exist, solution
                was let people know I exist.
                > I looked at your profile and it appears you are very
                specialized in a smaller (fewer overall specialists) market.
                Big fish in a small pond makes consulting easy. The average
                developer doing generalized work isn't going to have the same
                experience, though.
                While there is some stuff in my industry that's different (low
                connectivity and older users) - really the day to day work is
                not that much different than writing software for any other.
                I'm sure most people could look at their past employment
                history and find themselves a market.
            tjader wrote 2 days ago:
            I wonder if something like an agent could help with that.
            In many freelance-heavy professions, like music and acting, having
            an agent handle this part of business seems to be the default. Is
            there something similar in tech?
              HeyLaughingBoy wrote 1 day ago:
              There are recruiters who specialize in filling contract S/W
              development positions.
              burntoutfire wrote 2 days ago:
              It's called recruiting, but it doesn't work like you described.
              In freelance tech recruiting, the jobs are the scarce resources,
              not the candidates. Freelance recruiters focus their effort on
              obtaining new positions for them to fill in, and only then they
              look for suitable candidates. You can see that in how they angle
              to find out about other companies that you're interviewing in -
              they do that, because they very much need it as another lead.
              In other words, nobody would care about becoming your agent,
              because you're fungible. That's why it's not done in our
              industry. I suspect actors are much less fungible (you can't cast
              a 20 years old white cheery woman to play 50 years old broody
              black male who can ride on horses and do a british accent), hence
              market dynamics are different there.
                fecak wrote 2 days ago:
                I am a former recruiter and wrote an article about this years
                ago. One of the main issues with third-party recruiting and the
                recruiter/candidate relationship is that their interests aren't
                In perm hire recruiting, the recruiter is typically paid a
                percentage of the candidate's starting salary. That means the
                recruiter and candidate are aligned in negotiation - if the
                recruiter can negotiate a higher salary, both the recruiter and
                the candidate are beneficiaries.
                Therefore, the more the candidate makes, the more the recruiter
                makes. Win/win.
                For contracting roles, a recruiter is a middleman and trying to
                maximize their margin, defined as the difference between bill
                rate (what the client pays the recruiter) and pay rate (what
                the recruiter pays the candidate).
                There are only a few ways the recruiter can maximize margin.
                The most obvious is to negotiate the bill rate UP and/or the
                pay rate DOWN. A less obvious way is to simply try to make sure
                the candidate with the lowest pay rate gets the job. So if I
                have two candidates and one is asking for 100/hr and the other
                is asking 120/hr, if I can get the 100/hr candidate into the
                job, that means an extra 40K in the recruiter's pocket for a
                year (based on 2000 hour work year).
                I'm admittedly oversimplifying a lot of things here, but the
                typical recruiting model is not aligned with candidates for
                contract hiring.
                  vekker wrote 2 days ago:
                  Is there a true difference between those two models though?
                  In the end, the client has to foot the bill, no matter how
                  the money is allocated between commission and candidate.
                  As a recruiter, you could have a similar model for
                  contractors and promise a fixed % of the daily rate. That
                  way, the higher the rate of the contractor, the bigger the
                  commission for the recruiter.
                  However, I do see your point and I notice most recruiters not
                  being very transparant about their commission, nor do they
                  want to give it up & work with a fixed fee instead. I know
                  one small agency who's very open about their commission and
                  promise to only take a cut for the first year. I hope
                  eventually other freelancers will wise up and choose those
                  types of recruiters over the more shady businesses.
                    fecak wrote 9 hours 2 min ago:
                    The recruiter argument against a fixed % is that they
                    should be rewarded for their skill in negotiation.
                    In other words, let's say market rate for your programming
                    skill is 150/hr. I'm your recruiter, and I make you an
                    offer for 170/hr. You should be ecstatic. But what if you
                    find out that I am billing the client for 1000/hr? Would
                    you still be happy? Probably not - you'd feel you're being
                    robbed, even though you are being paid above the market
                    So should YOU be rewarded for my ability to negotiate the
                    client's rate to 6x market rate?
                    I'm not saying this is fair or a good way to do business,
                    but I'm just offering you the recruiter's mindset on this.
                urthor wrote 2 days ago:
                Actors are very fungible.
                The commodity in cinema is entirely actors whose name the
                audience knows and remember.
                You can definitely staff a film entirely with superlative
                talent from the indie world.
              imilk wrote 2 days ago:
              And when you start relying on them for all of your business,
              you've basically reverse engineered being a regular employee at a
              creative agency.
                tjader wrote 2 days ago:
                When you are a regular employee at an agency you don't have
                much of a choice on what jobs to take. With an agent you are
                much more free in that regard.
                  what_is_orcas wrote 2 days ago:
                  Being a contractor for an agency is the worst of both worlds:
                  no choice on what to work on that you'd get as a freelance
                  contractor and no career growth wherever you're placed.
                  I did it for a year and it was miserable. It was great for
                  the first few months, but then I started getting put on more
                  and more menial tasks just to fill out my contract duration
                  and I realized that there was no real point in understanding
                  the systems I was working on in much depth beyond what it
                  took to execute my task.
                  The other contractors who'd been at it for longer wrote some
                  of the worst code I've seen, even though they were obviously
                  very talented; they just didn't see the point of writing
                  beautiful code if they're not going to be around in a few
                  months to maintain it.
                quickthrower2 wrote 2 days ago:
                Maybe not. The agent should get a percentage of your income and
                should be trying to get you the best income possible (well a
                mix of bess possible / low vacancy rate)
                But the employee gets let’s say $150k/y and f you are hired
                out for $5k a day you still get your same salary regardless.
              geerlingguy wrote 2 days ago:
              There are a number of contractor agencies where they basically
              manage your relationship with a number of businesses/specific
              projects, and you get paid through them or some affiliate. The
              skim is usually more like 30-50% though.
                tjader wrote 2 days ago:
                I think it's a bit different than what I meant. In this agency
                case, the freelancer works for the agency, in the "agent model"
                the agent works for the freelancer.
              claytonjy wrote 2 days ago:
              I had a similar thought recently; I'd gladly pay 15% to someone
              that can consistently find me interesting work that pays well.
                jpindar wrote 2 days ago:
                I'd pay more than that to anyone who can find me any remote
                  claytonjy wrote 2 days ago:
                  I see from your profile you work in hardware/firmware; I'm
                  guessing the remote wave hasn't disrupted those roles the way
                  it has for software folks?
                    HeyLaughingBoy wrote 1 day ago:
                    It has made a dent, but it's slow going.
                    In my previous position we built a lot of wearable devices
                    so having a dev system at home was no problem since they're
                    portable by definition. Likewise at my current position, we
                    have larger, but still easily movable development/debug
                    systems since the product I'm working on fits on a desktop.
                    Takes up more room with everything splayed out on a back
                    plate, but still fits on a tabletop.
                    But going back two jobs where the machines we built were
                    large, very complex and floorstanding, it would be much
                    more difficult.
                    It's also much easier when the hardware is stable. When
                    you're still in the "bring up" phase, there's a lot of
                    shipping hardware back and forth, or occasional office days
                    together if feasible, especially if you need a $70,000 tool
                    that the company doesn't want you taking home.
                    As the pandemic has progressed, embedded development has
                    adapted. The biggest reason it's likely to reverse is
                    simply that a lot of companies prefer to have their people
                    jpindar wrote 2 days ago:
                    Yeah, I think a lot of engineering managers still think
                    it's impractical. It worked out well for me on a few
                    projects, but I got them from people I had previously
                    worked with in person.
                    However, I'd be fine with any kind of work, it doesn't have
                    to be firmware.
                wastholm wrote 2 days ago:
                I work at a place where about 500 independent
                consultants/contractors have outsourced branding, training (to
                a degree), office admin, and, above all, sales to a shared
                organization.[1] Those who want can become "partners" by buying
                shares (I have). Importantly, this setup also provides a
                community because solo consulting can otherwise get lonely at
                times. But essentially we're all still entirely "our own" and
                free to choose how much we want to work, whether we want to
                pursue side projects, etc.
                We pay 17%. So not quite the 15% you mentioned, but also far
                from the 30% others talked about.
                We're only in Sweden for now, so maybe this isn't immediately
                accessible to you. But it shows that it can be done.
   URI          [1]: https://www.kvadrat.se/
                  netjiro wrote 2 days ago:
                  These umbrella sales / networking / socialising organisations
                  are fun. I've tried a few. But 15-20% is highly inefficient.
                  My overhead for cold-finding new clients is <5% (against
                  those projects), and I'm not a good salesman: I'm overly
                  direct, opinionated, and have very low tolerance for
                  My overhead for recurring clients and referrals is <1%
                  (against those projects), which is also the majority of my
                  Admin, billing, accounting, etc is also <1%, so it's a non
                  These sales organisations have _much_ better salesmen than
                  me, yet they need >3x the cost to do the job, and they
                  produce worse results?
                  My guess is: if you actually tried to spend one day per week
                  (20%) for sales and networking you will get a better result.
                  But for many (including me) it is uninteresting /
                  uncomfortable / annoying / etc and therefore many of us
                  overestimate the difficulty of sales.
                  There is also very likely a notable difference in interest
                  alignment between the sales partners/employees and you. They
                  will make more money/h the faster they sell you and therefore
                  have greatly reduced monetary interest in working
                  significantly more for a higher quote or a more specialised
                  project. They also do not have the deep domain knowledge you
                  do in your areas, and you are much better at judging how well
                  you will enjoy working with a prospective organisation and
                  how interesting you will find any given project.
                  My experience: Yes they can sell you. They will get lower
                  quotes than you will get yourself. They will find worse
                  projects than you will find on your own. And they cost too
                  much. Still, I had fun with all the groups I've tried, and I
                  still recommend them as a social luxury. Fun, overpriced,
                  business friends.
                    wastholm wrote 2 days ago:
                    A very significant part of the pool of interesting projects
                    in "my" market is only available under framework agreements
                    for which solo consultants will not be considered (but
                    Kvadrat will). If I were completely solo, I would have to
                    bid for such projects through brokers who would happily
                    charge me between 5% and 20% without really giving me
                    anything back besides acting as gatekeepers.
                    Instead, all my cold calling, contract negotiations,
                    billing and accounts receivable — things I'm not good at
                    and don't enjoy doing — get taken care of. I'm happy to
                    pay for that. The "luxury" of "business friends" is
                    vekker wrote 2 days ago:
                    Indeed, this sounds highly inefficient. Say, 15% of a daily
                    rate of 800 euro for 200 working days equals 24,000 euro,
                    recurring every year. Seems like a ton of money for just
                    matching a candidate with a job, given that the freelancer
                    still has to sell themselves and do all of the actual work.
                    Being a freelancer myself, I've often asked recruiters
                    about this, and they always dodge the question or reply
                    something like "there's much more to our job than you
                    think". I have not yet figured out what that is exactly.
                    My best guess, from personal experience, is that they
                    charge 15% and upwards because... they can. Because a lot
                    of (especially technical) contractors are really bad
                    negotiators and just accept whatever is offered.
                    Given the huge competition between recruiting agencies
                    nowadays (at least where I live in Europe, it seems like
                    there's 10 recruiters for every senior developer), I would
                    think that a new recruiting agency could gain a huge
                    competitive advantage by simply advertising clear & fair
                  claytonjy wrote 2 days ago:
                  The geography does limit me (US), but wow this sounds
                  awesome, exactly what I want.
                  I have talked to consulting/contracting shops here in the US
                  before, which might look superficially similar, but there you
                  are generally a direct employee of the company who then
                  contracts you out to their clients. I have generally had a
                  poor perception of such places, though I'm sure some are
                  fine. Kvadrat sounds much better!
                  dvgroup wrote 2 days ago:
                  I vouch for this  I'm also part of the Kvadrat community and
                  I'm my own boss. It's fantastic.
                varjag wrote 2 days ago:
                The going rate is at least double that.
                  claytonjy wrote 2 days ago:
                  I picked 15% thinking about the old default for entertainment
                  agents. I know 30% is normal for external recruiting fees,
                  why does a "dev agent" get the same? Because they can?
                  If the gigs found are high paying enough I don't think 30% is
                tixocloud wrote 2 days ago:
                I’m actually toying with the idea because I’m finding more
                projects/demand that I know technical folks who can deliver.
                Would you like to connect?
                  thestepafter wrote 2 days ago:
                  I’m interested in something like this if you would like to
                    eashman wrote 19 hours 38 min ago:
                    Add me too. Let me know if you go ahead with it in the US.
                    jpindar wrote 2 days ago:
                    Me too.
                    iancmceachern wrote 2 days ago:
                    Me too
        yonatron wrote 2 days ago:
        Is there a non paywall version?
          dsizzle wrote 2 days ago:
   URI    [1]: https://archive.ph/FCRdw
        encryptluks2 wrote 2 days ago:
        Pretty soon government will move to finish taking away all public
        assistance if you don't take whatever job is offered. Previously worked
        as a hairdresser and now you don't want to be a $8/hr fry cook? No
        unemployment for you loser! Maybe they should stop encouraging
        businesses to fired people needlessly based over a target that has
        moved more than QAnon.
        PragmaticPulp wrote 2 days ago:
        These stories always feel like they picked a few good anecdotes and
        interviews, but they wanted to present it as a national trend to make
        it sound like a bigger deal.
        Indeed, the statistics they provide aren't as significant as the
        headline suggests:
        > Hundreds of thousands of Americans are striking out on their own...
        For reference, the United States has around 160 million employed
        people. 0.1% of them moving to freelancing might be significant, but is
        it really a new era? That was happening on the regular well before
        1 in 1000 people striking out on their own doesn't really explain the
        "ongoing  shake-up in the world of work" like they're trying to
          slantaclaus wrote 2 days ago:
          Roughly 0.4% (600k/160m) moving into a freelancing, just saying
          winternett wrote 2 days ago:
          Typical "boom and bust" trend reporting... It's been around since the
          gold rush of course, it gets easy reads, and by the time it's
          published it's a burnt out trend...
          Web dev is not an easy thing to break into, also having the money to
          really set up and thrive truly limits market competition.
          After the burnout of social media though, the need for custom web dev
          should begin to rise, provided that operational costs don't skyrocket
          artificially. Cloud hosting adds a lot of potentially high and
          unpredictable costs to clients too. I usually try to make sure that
          my regular and "big-idea" clients need to always have a solid plan
          for proper revenue/monetization before any project paperwork is
          Grakel wrote 2 days ago:
          My favorite fake statistic in this article is "and nearly half have a
          college degree." They're trying to frame that paragraph to say the
          people are educated, and if you read it quickly it comes off that
          way, instead of "most of these people only have a high school
            asdfsd234234444 wrote 2 days ago:
            Not really, "nearly half" is a significant proportion considering
            that only 30% of americans have anything above a high school
              Grakel wrote 1 day ago:
              37.5, which is 75 percent of half, I would say "nearly" half puts
              the education of the people very close to average.
            asdff wrote 2 days ago:
            You left off the other half of the sentence that makes it more
            clear that there are some highly educated people in this cohort: "
            and nearly 4 in 10 a postgraduate degree."
              alisonkisk wrote 2 days ago:
              Which means obviously fake stats. 55% high school, 35% postgrad,
              and only 10% college in the middle?
                skinnymuch wrote 2 days ago:
                I believe it means 4 in 10 of the college educated. I don’t
                remember the exact line. I’d have to go back and check.
                However I vouched for your dead comment and wanted to comment
        eatonphil wrote 2 days ago:
        I quit Oracle a few months ago. The good part is that I get spend more
        time on fun blog posts and projects like datastation [0]. The bad part
        is it's still challenging to find contract work that is enjoyable and
        pays well.
        Most of all though I miss having teammates/peers. That may be the thing
        that drives me fastest back to full time employment.
   URI  [1]: https://github.com/multiprocessio/datastation
          bow_vernon wrote 2 days ago:
          they did pay well didn't they? my boss neighbor works for oracle, and
          he lives here in third world buying houses like buying cars. dude
          could just stop and become the big landlord if he wishes.
          sh4un wrote 2 days ago:
          Oracle is a horrible company to work for. Nice resume fluff though.
            eatonphil wrote 2 days ago:
            I just didn't fit in well with my particular org but there were
            plenty of good managers/directors and interesting work to be done.
            In a company of 100k employees there will be better and worse bits.
            The compensation was pretty good though. I'd still recommend anyone
            to work there as much as any other Fortune 500 in tech.
          hardwaresofton wrote 2 days ago:
          Maybe consider registering at a local lively coworking
          space/accelerator? You may find like minded people you can form a
          cooperative with.
          Also as far as the contract work that is enjoyable and pays well --
          in my experience this mostly has to do with knowing the right people.
          People who are high up enough in an org and technical enough to be
          sympathetic to understand what enjoyable jobs for you would be.
            eatonphil wrote 2 days ago:
            > Maybe consider registering at a local lively coworking
            space/accelerator? You may find like minded people you can form a
            cooperative with.
            I did try a coworking space but it has not been the best year to
            get that in-person experience. :) I'm vaguely looking into
            accelerators now but I'm naive so I'd kind of rather build a slow,
            sustainable, healthy business than get swept up in the mindset
            having a VC funded startup requires.
            > Also as far as the contract work that is enjoyable and pays well
            -- in my experience this mostly has to do with knowing the right
            people. People who are high up enough in an org and technical
            enough to be sympathetic to understand what enjoyable jobs for you
            would be.
            You're right and I misspoke a bit. There are definitely enough
            opportunities out there but you have to try things out and move on
            if you don't enjoy it. The last two contracts I had paid decently
            but I found the style of work completely demotivating. So I keep
              hardwaresofton wrote 2 days ago:
              > I did try a coworking space but it has not been the best year
              to get that in-person experience. :) I'm vaguely looking into
              accelerators now but I'm naive so I'd kind of rather build a
              slow, sustainable, healthy business than get swept up in the
              mindset having a VC funded startup requires.
              Totally agree on the slow sustainable healthy business -- If
              you're going to bootstrap then I assume you've heard of the
              MicroConf community? You might want to get plugged in there. At
              the very least they've got great resources on things bootstrapped
              founders care about[0].
              I meant to suggest hanging around the accelerator because you'd
              find like-minded people, not necessarily entering it by the way
              -- for example working as a technical advisor or contributor to
              the accelerator (and/or the attached VC/PE firms) itself might be
              interesting and give you the latitude you're looking for.
              > You're right and I misspoke a bit. There are definitely enough
              opportunities out there but you have to try things out and move
              on if you don't enjoy it. The last two contracts I had paid
              decently but I found the style of work completely demotivating.
              So I keep looking.
              No worries, I do pretty much exactly the same thing -- if I'd
              known a better way I would have shared it. I can agree from
              experience that finding companies you'd want to work at for long
              periods is very hard, and even more so when you have seen >3
              small-to-mid-size companies and how vast the difference in
              architecture, experience, coworkers, environment, etc can be
              (especially compared to larger companies).
              It seems like if you have a very specific niche you want to
              target it's easier (i.e. try to be a patio11 type figure in one
              area that deeply interests you), but if you just want to find
              interesting problems that span areas/stacks/architectures, it can
              be hard to find companies that fit.
              Good luck out there!
   URI        [1]: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHoBKQDRkJcOY2BO47q5Ruw
        bluedevil2k wrote 2 days ago:
        The thing holding many people back from doing this is health care -
        Americans predominantly get their health care through their employer
        and the options on Obamacare are not cheap. Another reason socialized
        health care would benefit this country - it would boost the number of
        entrepreneurs and small businesses.  Socialized health care desperately
        needs a rebranding - instead of "Socialized Health Care" or "Medicare
        for All", it should be called "Entrepreneur Focused Health Care" or
        simply "Freedom Care".
          ecommerceguy wrote 2 days ago:
          Options for individual and family healthcare plans in many of the
          less restrictive states don't stop at "Obamacare." While not for
          everyone, Short Term Medical is a viable option, many times much more
          attractive than IFP ACA plans as STM plans typically ride on a
          national network whereas "Obamacare" plans are typically EPO plans
          that are geographically limited.
          It's a commonly held myth that bigger companies offer lower premiums
          to employees, that is most certainly not always the case.
          garrickvanburen wrote 2 days ago:
          Maybe fear of looking at health care premium bill every month.
          Healthcare can be found. Maybe it's not at a preferred price, but it
          can be found. Even post-ACA.
          Source: me working for myself and paying healthcare premiums for self
          and family 2003-2018
          cbetti wrote 2 days ago:
          Healthcare options were a major deciding factor when I pursued
          entrepreneurship in 2011. Ultimately we decided that the
          Massachusetts options at the time had sufficient coverage given we
          didn't yet have children, but the plans were significantly cheaper
          than today and employer packages offered higher degrees of security.
          asdff wrote 2 days ago:
          Another huge thing is rent. A lot of these freelance businesses can
          be feast or famine especially at the start when its mostly famine.
          You also need space to do this stuff. Imagine if Steve Jobs and
          Wozniak didn't have access to a single family home garage and had to
          try and make do in a studio apartment.
            sjtindell wrote 2 days ago:
            Musk and his brother rented an office space and slept on the couch
              asdff wrote 2 days ago:
              Being able to afford rent for an office space is pretty tough for
              most people who can barely afford rent on their apartment while
              holding a fulltime job. Musk is the son of an emerald miner.
          VoodooJuJu wrote 2 days ago:
          The thing holding even more people back is lack of skill and
          education to strike out on their own.
          shrimpx wrote 2 days ago:
          I pay under $400/mo for a pretty good marketplace plan. That’s not
            Rapzid wrote 2 days ago:
            I just started at this startup and the Bronze "HSA" eligible plan
            for just me and my wife is over 500/mo. Maybe I should have left
            her off and went to the market lol.
          bdangubic wrote 2 days ago:
          I am not buying this - you can get very good insurance from the
          marketplace for $400-$500/month (I pay $445/month)
            nine_zeros wrote 2 days ago:
            You are getting down voted because $445/mo is too high - especially
            for couples with a child.
              kcplate wrote 2 days ago:
              I disagree. $445/mo for a healthcare policy for a family would be
              cheap.    Likely cheaper financially to a young family than the tax
              impact of socialized healthcare would be to them.
                aix1 wrote 2 days ago:
                Your comment got me curious, so I looked up per-capita annual
                cost of the NHS (the socialised healthcare system in the
                country where I live).
                The latest official data says "In 2017, the UK spent £2,989
                per person on healthcare, which was around the median for
                members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
                This is about US$330 per person per month.
                (I don't have any point to make.  Just thought I'd share the
                data I found.)
   URI          [1]: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/he...
              hanniabu wrote 2 days ago:
              Also because it's not very good. Anybody that thinks it is hasn't
              seen the quality of the doctors that take that instance. It's
              noticeably lower.
              shukantpal wrote 2 days ago:
              My mother working at Walmart pays $60/month since the rest is
              paid by the government. If you’re starting something, you
              probably won’t have income so the cost goes down for you too.
                kcplate wrote 2 days ago:
                The challenge with almost all government subsidies is that you
                need a tax year of little to no income before you can qualify.
          refurb wrote 2 days ago:
          Yet countries like Canada who have universal care are less
            hungryforcodes wrote 2 days ago:
            But the mind set strangely is super conservative in that regard.
            I've struck out and done my own business and most of my regularly
            working Canadian friends thought (and still think) I am crazy.
            Effectively most people in Canada work quietly for years to
            retirement and then...retire. It's pretty safe and easy -- though
            ultimately super boring.
              ketzo wrote 2 days ago:
              I mean, the vast majority of Americans do that, too.
              Entrepreneurship and self-employment are scary.
                hungryforcodes wrote 15 hours 38 min ago:
                It is true. Definitely not for the faint of heart.
          chiefalchemist wrote 2 days ago:
          > it would boost the number of entrepreneurs and small businesses.
          Agreed. But this is exactly why it's been slow (read: impossible?) to
          happen. Big Inc has no interest in seeing the status quo change. High
          healthcare premiums keeps all but the bravest chained to the system.
          Even the ACA never lived up to its own name. Never. We all know this,
          yet no effort to fix it, adjust it, etc. That says a lot. Actions
          speaker louder than words.
          Let them eat ACA.
            PopAlongKid wrote 2 days ago:
            ACA has accomplished a lot of what it was intended to, despite
            multiple efforts by some politicians to sabotage it at every turn.
            "Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
            released a new report that shows 31 million Americans have health
            coverage through the Affordable Care Act – a record.    The report
            also shows that there have been reductions in uninsurance rates in
            every state in the country since the law’s coverage expansions
            took effect. People served by the health Marketplaces and Medicaid
            expansion have reached record highs."
   URI      [1]: https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2021/06/05/new-hhs-data-sho...
              chiefalchemist wrote 2 days ago:
              Just to clarify, yes it has done sone good. Unfortunately, it's
              not living up to its name. Affordable it is not. Furthermore,
              it's not making us any healthier. The healthcare system has been
              the single largest beneficiary of ACA.
              Note: I'm not against a national plan. But the current
              implementation is a mess.
            kcplate wrote 2 days ago:
            ACA was designed from the get go to fail and to be hated.  Goal was
            to soften the public up on the idea of single payer as the solution
            to the problems that the ACA created.
            The problem with the plan came when the GOP and Trump went and
            gutted the penalties for non compliance of the individual mandate.
            At this point I doubt Biden re-instates it especially with all the
            hubbub over the vaccine mandate.  The optics would be bad bad,
            especially with the vaccine mandate and the ACA individual mandate
            disproportionately hurting younger working families.
          matthewhartmans wrote 2 days ago:
          I think another major reason holding people back is consistent cash
          flow. If you know you can lock in 6 months of work at a time and not
          worry about cash flow, that would give a lot of people a reason to
          jump quite easily.
          irjustin wrote 2 days ago:
          While a good premise, I don't believe it holds up. Healthcare is just
          one facet.
          Far and above is the lack of paycheck which encompasses healthcare.
          "If money was no object, what would you be doing?" The question
          isn't, "if you had your healthcare covered, what would you doing?"
          The answer to the first question effectively never, "working for my
          current employer". For the 2nd question, it's still plausible.
            danielrpa wrote 2 days ago:
            This. Health insurance is indeed quite expensive in the US but,
            from a self-employment standpoint, it is just a cost like any
            other. You can get good health insurance for a family of 3 (middle
            aged parents of a teenager) where I live in the US for around
            25k-30k/year, including the out of pocket costs for moderate usage.
            This is less than rent for said family in a lot of the big US
            Nobody wants to "pay rent twice", and it can certainly be a lot
            harder to stop working when you have a big recurring expense like
            that, but it's possible to plan for it. Depending on the business
            you're getting into, it won't be your top expense.
          PragmaticPulp wrote 2 days ago:
          Having done this myself, I don't really see it. Yes, health insurance
          is expensive, but I can also bill substantially more than my non-US
          counterparts can in their respective countries. Even with paying for
          health insurance myself, I don't see how I'd come out ahead in any
          other country right now unless I relocated and kept my working hours
          / client base in the US.
            macNchz wrote 2 days ago:
            Sure once you have solid revenue and a repeatable business model,
            but it certainly costs enough to have an impact on people just
            starting out. When I quit my job to work for myself in 2019 I was
            choosing between $600/mo COBRA or nominally cheaper marketplace
            plans with absolutely terrible coverage, just for myself. I had
            plenty of runway and software development is in demand so it
            wasn’t a huge burden, but with a family it could easily have cost
            $2k+/mo. I’m sure that’s enough to dissuade people from trying
            new things, especially in niches where it takes longer to get to
          b9a2cab5 wrote 2 days ago:
          Socialized healthcare might be much more amenable if it were
          single-payer but without subsidies. You pay for insurance just like
          you do now, except there's only 1 provider and it's the government.
          The primary benefit most M4A people tout is that costs would be lower
          under a single payer system. This makes that happen without the
          welfare leeching.
          I and I'm sure many others are opposed to subsidizing people who
          decided to play video games and smoke weed all day with our tax
          dollars. If you're an entrepreneur, you're not harmed by this, you
          can afford to pay for it. If you're a small business owner, this
          should save you money. If you're disabled or old, you already get
          subsidized and would continue to get subsidized. Everyone else - pay
          for the services you receive.
            caconym_ wrote 2 days ago:
            I, for one, am sick of subsidizing people who will decide to play
            video games and smoke weed all day with our tax dollars.
            IIUC, one of the best predictors of a person's earning potential
            (which we can of course use as a proxy metric for their worth to
            the economy) is the wealth of their parents. So, why not quit
            funding public schools? It's two birds with one stone: only those
            who choose to have children will be responsible for paying for the
            services they receive (viz. tuition for an education), and we
            eliminate a subsidy for undesirables who (statistically speaking)
            are much more likely to become welfare leeches.
            That's what I call a win-win.
            edit: rather horrifyingly, this sarcasm is going over people's
            heads (my fault, of course). See
   URI      [1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29388282
              AnIdiotOnTheNet wrote 2 days ago:
              The sarcasm went over my head initially. Sadly, I think it is
              because your post is 100% something I believed I would find on
              55873445216111 wrote 2 days ago:
              Do you want to live in a world where most people are completely
              ayemiller wrote 2 days ago:
              I think you're forgetting that public schools serve a purpose
              other than enriching the wealthy. I have such a hard time with
              takes like these. Would you have public schools turning away
              children that can't pay?
                caconym_ wrote 2 days ago:
                It was sarcasm, intended to (at the very least) draw attention
                to the possibility of "throwing out the baby with the
                bathwater", and the perils of focusing on imaginary "welfare
                leeches" at the expense of general prosperity.
                I almost added an /s, and perhaps I should have. haha
                  smolder wrote 2 days ago:
                  Thanks for clarifying, had a Poe's law moment there.
                  thedragonline wrote 2 days ago:
                  Yeah you should have. I was about to comment on how toxic
                  this kind of worldview is, but    held back. At any rate, this
                  kind of thinking ensures a world where opportunity is
                  increasingly siloed such that even the best and brightest
                  wind up losing for want of wealthy benefactors.
                  b9a2cab5 wrote 2 days ago:
                  I hope you realize this is already the case. Property taxes
                  are voted on locally and go to pay for local schools and
                  there is vehement opposition towards redistributing funding
                  for schools state wide. People move to certain cities where
                  schools are known to be good (and no surprise, those cities
                  also have lots of generous property tax-based and PTA-based
                  funding for schools).
                    caconym_ wrote 2 days ago:
                    I might add that the people who can afford it move to those
                    certain cities. But yes, you're right, we already do a
                    great job making sure that not all children have equal
                  rozap wrote 2 days ago:
                  This is the internet, even if you were serious it wouldn't
                  even be in the bottom quartile of dumb takes.
            katbyte wrote 2 days ago:
            so what about people who just cannot afford it? homeless, addicts,
            single mothers raising kids, collage kids, kids kicked out of home
            because of religious/abortions/pregnancy/LGBTQ/ect? do they just
            not get healthcare?
              PopAlongKid wrote 2 days ago:
              If below 133% of the U.S. federal poverty level, they are
              eligible for Medicaid, which does not require payment of
              edit: s/medicare/medicaid/
              b9a2cab5 wrote 2 days ago:
              Last 3 categories can afford it if they get a job. Single payer
              proponents claim on the order of 10x cost savings compared to the
              status quo. Presumably insurance costs wouldn't exceed $200/mo
              under single payer. Amazon pays $15/h minimum nationally. That's
              a day and a half of work for health insurance for the month.
              The first 2 categories need better help than healthcare
              insurance. I think it's plainly obvious after SF spending
              $50k/homeless person that more money isn't going to help them.
                elihu wrote 2 days ago:
                > Single payer proponents claim on the order of 10x cost
                savings compared to the status quo.
                Who's saying that?  The U.S. pays about twice as much per
                capita as most other developed countries for healthcare which
                implies that a 2x savings should be at least theoretically
                possible, but I don't think there are serious claims of 10x
                savings unless you're talking about premiums for low-income
                people that are heavily subsidized.
                > I think it's plainly obvious after SF spending $50k/homeless
                person that more money isn't going to help them.
                The only conclusion I draw from that is that the money San
                Francisco is spending isn't being used efficiently.
                rozap wrote 2 days ago:
                Ah good. I don't want to subsidize the health care of SF
                "entrepreneur" lads who want to sit around all day writing
                software nobody needs. If they want healthcare they can get a
                real job in an Amazon fulfillment center.
                InvertedRhodium wrote 2 days ago:
                So they just don't get healthcare? Or are you suggesting an
                additional welfare system to cater to those subsets
                  shukantpal wrote 2 days ago:
                  “The first 2 categories need better help than healthcare
                  insurance. I think it's plainly obvious after SF spending
                  $50k/homeless person that more money isn't going to help
                    InvertedRhodium wrote 2 days ago:
                    Yes, I read the original non-answer and was looking for a
                    little clarification. If 50k isn't enough to help them, are
                    you suggesting we should give them more, less, or none?
          sbussard wrote 2 days ago:
          You have to correct the pharmaceutical industry for that to be
          effective. Capitalism works but we need to discover the rules at
          scale, similar to Physics. Seems like everyone agrees that the rules
          we know tend to break at scale.
          belval wrote 2 days ago:
          That does not seem to pass the smell test for me. Do we see a greater
          percentage of entrepreneurs from Canada or Europe than from the US? I
          didn't look up hard numbers but I doubt it.
            TulliusCicero wrote 2 days ago:
            It's not the only factor: Americans culturally value
            entrepeneurship very strongly. People love the idea of being your
            own boss or starting your own business, and telling friends that
            you plan to do this will generally garner positive comments (often
            times even if you fail).
            newshorts wrote 2 days ago:
            Anecdotally, healthcare benefits did factor in to my decision
            making when I thought about opening my own shop. I have two small
            kids and decided at this point in my life I’m going to stay put
            instead of starting something.
            vadym909 wrote 2 days ago:
            The base hurdle to be entrepreneur w family is $2.5-5k rent + $2k
            health for family + food and clothing per month- just to break
            mrfusion wrote 2 days ago:
            I think it’s simply confounded by all the other regulations those
            countries have.
            guiomie wrote 2 days ago:
            Does it matter what we see in Canada our Europe? I wouldn't
            surprised the USA has a highest percentage of entrepreneurs because
            of multitude of other reasons than healthcare such as capital,
            regulations and values/spirit. I also believe free healthcare would
            decrease the barrier to entry to starting a company, it would make
            the USA an even bigger entrepeneur centric country. Now, would the
            USA be better with universal healthcare in general, I am not sure.
            I live in the USA (almost 6 years), born, studied and worked 6
            years in Canada.
              teeray wrote 2 days ago:
              > Does it matter what we see in Canada our Europe?
              Well yeah… if we’re going to repeat the same thing and expect
              to see a certain outcome, we had better see that outcome where
              this has already been implemented. It’s the closest thing to a
              crystal ball that we’re going to get.
            dsizzle wrote 2 days ago:
            Another axis to look at is the US over time (which also has less
            confounding with other differences across cultures). Looking at the
            graphs in the article, it appears Obamacare may have stopped the
            decline in self-employed workers. And since Obamacare started, the
            number of (likely) business applications increased steadily,
            doubling over 10 years. Unfortunately that graph doesn't go back in
            time far enough to determine if that's a deviation from a previous
            trend or not (it looks like it was increasing at a similar rate
            just before), but it's at least consistent with Obamacare helping
            What's more striking is the 50% jump in business applications
            around the time of covid. Maybe that's in part due to stimulus?
            Spooky23 wrote 2 days ago:
            Startups are not the only entrepreneurial business.
            Running a small business like a store, farm, etc without a spouse
            that carries the insurance is insane. Even businesses like bars and
            restaurants over time have tipped to larger or even public
            When I was a 1099 consultant, I had a heath issue that would have
            bankrupted us if my wife wasn’t working for a municipal
            government with good insurance.
            You see more of these types of businesses in Europe.
              geerlingguy wrote 2 days ago:
              I can say that my health insurance (as an independent worker with
              Healthcare.gov plan) costs more than my home mortgage and
              utilities combined. A significant amount more; and I still pay
              down a $10,000 deductible on top of that before any reimbursement
              kicks in.
                PopAlongKid wrote 2 days ago:
                Even as anecdata, I see a few issues with this comparison.  For
                one, part of your mortgage payment is simply a repayment of
                loan principal, which is not a cost of living.    Only the
                interest portion might be considered a legitimate household
                Second, with a $10K deductible, it sounds like you have a HDHP
                (high deductible health plan), of which the main feature is
                lower premiums, and also the ability to fund an HSA (health
                savings account) for additional tax savings.
                Even with your deductible, a wide variety of basic and
                preventive health services are available for free to you under
                ACA's minimum essential coverage provision.
                For example, see this list [0] for all adults, along with a
                similar ones specifically for women and children.
   URI          [1]: https://www.healthcare.gov/preventive-care-adults/
            micromacrofoot wrote 2 days ago:
            Anecdotally, I’ve kept multiple jobs longer than I’ve wanted
            because they had good health insurance… I also switched jobs to
            have kids using better insurance
            chiefalchemist wrote 2 days ago:
            > Do we see a greater percentage of entrepreneurs from Canada or
            Europe than from the US?
            Different cultures. Different mindsets towards entrepreneurship and
            It shouldn't pass the smell test as you're smelling three different
            things :)
            MattGaiser wrote 2 days ago:
            Canada at least is an extremely risk averse place.
            I can’t even get people up here to try new startups that
            Americans will download and try at the first suggestion.
              908B64B197 wrote 2 days ago:
              > Canada at least is an extremely risk averse place.
              That also seems to be the case for investments.
              Everything seems to be centered around "safe" businesses with
              proven track record or just real estate. There's no VC putting
              money on a crazy idea (and they getting a home run one time out
              of 10).
              EForEndeavour wrote 2 days ago:
              How nationally representative and/or comparable are your samples
              of Canadian and American people?
              ikr678 wrote 2 days ago:
              Is that risk aversion, or something else though? I find Americans
              much more primed to consume and try new products.
                TulliusCicero wrote 2 days ago:
                > I find Americans much more primed to consume and try new
                Well, yes. Because Americans aren't very risk averse, and are
                pretty strongly novelty-seeking.
                MattGaiser wrote 2 days ago:
                It is just one example. There are numerous.
                Canadians have a pastime of whining about our Big 5 banks.
                Nobody ever switches to another bank.
                Same with telecom. We complain about the prices. Nobody tries
                their competitors like Freedom.
                I hear stories of students joining startups in the USA over
                FAANG. Here many people do startups to boost their resumes for
                big company jobs (I was part of a startup accelerator where a
                lot of people were resume building). I know people doing this
                now. Building startups to be more employable by Amazon.
            Scalestein wrote 2 days ago:
            I think there really is something in American culture that fuels
            entrepreneurship. Maybe it's the puritan and "prosperity gospel"
            It would be interesting to see a comparison of entrepreneurship
            between US and Canada in the early 1900s before health care and
            especially job sponsored health care were so common.
              908B64B197 wrote 2 days ago:
              There's also the fact that, in America anyone/any family can make
              it and even become president/senator. It's by the American people
              and for the American people. Just look at the Kennedys.
              In Canada, you look at the country's history and even its current
              head of state and... it's a foreign non-elected monarch. The
              other head of state is non-elected as well and is supposed to be
              a representative of the crown. Same thing for their senate, all
              nominated. Even until recently, the highest court of the country
              was... in London! That would simply be unthinkable in America.
              This kind of things permeate aspects of life; there is this
              notion that there is a natural order of things and that people
              are born into certain roles. And it also seems true in the
              business world; Banking and Telecom, for instance, are fiercely
              protected and have an almost impossible moat to surmount for a
              competitor to come and disrupt the market.
              selectodude wrote 2 days ago:
              >Maybe it's the puritan and "prosperity gospel" roots.
              No, the puritans (and Europeans in general) considered bankruptcy
              a moral failing and it was punished with societal banishment and
              The United States invented modern bankruptcy law. States have
              taken it a step further and protected most major assets from
              being seized in a bankruptcy (house, car, certain amounts of
              cash), so the absolute worst case from failing is that you dust
              yourself off, wait a few years and try again. It's just part of
              the culture now.
            Swizec wrote 2 days ago:
            > Do we see a greater percentage of entrepreneurs from Canada or
            Europe than from the US?
            Don't know about Canada, but in my neck of Europe (Slovenia) it
            seems everyone who is ambitious defaults to entrepreneurship.
            Because it's the only way to advance or get anywhere interesting at
            all. And almost everyone has a sidehustle or two.
            To the point that a while back the government had to crack down on
            sidehustling and associated grey economy. Laws like not being
            allowed to "help your neighbors" build a house.
            Now I live in San Francisco and the entrepreneurship spirit is much
            less. Tech just pays far too well for most people to faff around
            starting their own thing. To quote a friend of mine "Dude, I'd be
            stupid to start a company right now! Have you seen how much
            companies will pay for my skills? wow"
            bobthechef wrote 2 days ago:
            Right, you'd have to back this up with numbers, but if startups are
            considered, the US outstrips everyone else, certainly in the West.
            The story is going to be more complicated. Ethos is an important
            factor. Some countries have cultures that are prohibitive or
            discouraging for entrepreneurs or encourage safety and comfort over
            risky pursuits, and working for a large corp is going to be more
            compatible with that than risking your neck to run your own
            business. I suspect countries that have national health care are
            going to correlate strongly with those which are risk averse and
            therefore less entrepreneurial.
            pbourke wrote 2 days ago:
            > Do we see a greater percentage of entrepreneurs from Canada or
            Europe than from the US?
            Yes, if one uses self-employment as a proxy for entrepreneurship.
            The US trails Canada and Western European countries in self
            employment as a percentage of the labour force. [1] Edit: the US
            has the lowest rate in this OECD dataset.
   URI      [1]: https://data.oecd.org/chart/6xG6
              faet wrote 2 days ago:
              >New research shows that 44 million workers—or 28.2%—were
              self-employed at some point during a given week in 2019.
              Much of it depends on how they define self employed. "Contract
              Work" doesn't count as self employed for the government.
              >Those figures appear to go against other surveys showing huge
              growth in contract work, which is transforming the U.S. labor
              market. A survey conducted in December by NPR/Marist found that
              contract work makes up 20 percent or more of the U.S. workforce.
              >Why the seemingly large discrepancy?
              >Many point to the government's methodology. The Labor
              Department, for example, did not include people who augment their
              income through contract work
              mcv wrote 2 days ago:
              Interesting data set. Norway and Denmark score surprisingly low;
              lower than Canada, only just above the US. Colombia is the
              extreme outlier on the high end with 50%. Netherland is in the
              upper third with 17%, but is the second highest wealthy country
              (after New Zealand). Most countries of similar GDP/capita have a
              far lower amount of self-employment.
              jandrewrogers wrote 2 days ago:
              Self-employment isn’t a good proxy for entrepreneurship. Many
              (most?) entrepreneurs are not technically self-employed in the
              US. In Europe, there is a strong bias toward being an
              “independent contractor” because that is almost the only way
              to earn a top wage, whereas in the US that is entirely
              unnecessary since normal companies readily pay regular employees
              top dollar if they perform.
              Being self-employed in Europe is a product of the reality that
              companies are willing to pay contractors much more than the
              equivalent employees. If you are highly skilled, being
              self-employed is the only way to earn what you are worth.
              frankfrankfrank wrote 2 days ago:
              Here's a dirty little secret … and I know this is going to
              upset many of the statist types … but vast majority of those
              OECD types of datasets are so utterly polluted that they are
              essentially useless beyond the broadest of strokes. Just alone
              the definition and the application of that definition and the
              capacity to accurately capture the data alone produces excessive
              inaccuracies that in essence rely on the formality of the process
              and the institutional perception as a means to claim or even just
              project assumed authority and accuracy of the data.
              To put it in a different context; the self-delusional con job
              that was the lie about how wonderful and amazing the Afghan
              national army was for the last about 10 years minimum, is a
              perfect example of just how broad, deep, and long a blatant fraud
              can be perpetuated in such an open and overt manner, all
              underpinned by all kinds of shiny presentations and back rubbing
              It's all fake. I know that makes people's cognitive dissonance
              flare up, but that's the uncomfortable truth. The emperor in fact
              has no clothes on, nor do any of his courtiers. We will see how
              long the charade can last.
                ElemenoPicuares wrote 2 days ago:
                Dirtier and Secreter: People's cognitive dissonance would flare
                way up if you shared convincing evidence that the OECD or the
                similar bodies fake their self-employment data.
                phdelightful wrote 2 days ago:
                If your point is "lies, damn lies, and statistics," then I
                guess I can't argue with that.
                If your point is something more specific about OECD
                self-employment data, or the processes and practices for a
                specific or category of "OECD types of datasets" or general
                practices of society-level datasets...I encourage you to make
                that point, and give others something to work with.
              ameister14 wrote 2 days ago:
              With what, 60 million gig workers in the US? Around 38% of the
              labor force, I think- you'd think the total self-employed number
              would be higher.
                intrasight wrote 2 days ago:
                Gig workers are not self-employed. They don't pass the IRS 20
                factor test. And that's why governments are cracking down.
                  mcv wrote 2 days ago:
                  Different countries may have different standards for that,
                  though. So it may be hard to compare this data between
                  different countries.
                jfoutz wrote 2 days ago:
                How are people with multiple jobs counted? I’d imagine the
                gig thing is generally not primary.
              908B64B197 wrote 2 days ago:
              How much of that, especially in Europe, is simply a way to bypass
              the ever increasing burden of regulations around employment?
                smus wrote 2 days ago:
                That whooshing sound is the goal posts moving
                bilekas wrote 2 days ago:
                It really doesn't have too much with regulations etc usually.
                For engineers for example, you will earn higher income and pay
                less tax, different rates. And larger companies usually have a
                set asside budget for contractors.
                Its easier as an engineer as its never hard to find another
                job. If this wasn't the case, you would see a higher percentage
                of employees who require job securoty.
                Nothing to do with regulation from my experience, just better
                pay and more flexibility.
                jorisboris wrote 2 days ago:
                In Belgium, once you reach a certain pay (roughly from 100k
                euros yearly onwards), it reduces tax burden for employer and
                employee when employees become independent contractors.
                  davidgay wrote 2 days ago:
                  In the US, IIUC, the IRS won't let you (employer, employee)
                  do that.
                    mcv wrote 2 days ago:
                    The Dutch tax service keeps trying to figure out new rules
                    of how to distinguish between true self-employed people and
                    fake self-employeds who basically function as regular
                    employees, but without the rights and benefits of
                    employees. This is mainly meant to protect excessive
                    exploitation of low-paid (gig-economy) workers, but it
                    certainly limits my options as well.
                    I'm self-employed and tend to work for a single client at a
                    time, usually on projects of between half a year and two
                    years. I work on a team with employees, doing similar work,
                    except I'm more empowered, more in control of my own way of
                    working (also because the tax service demands that, which
                    is good in this case). I'm not being exploited the way
                    employees or gig workers are. And if the government thinks
                    this is some kind of tax loophole, I'd happily pay more
                    tax, as long as I can continue working this way.
                verelo wrote 2 days ago:
                That question really makes it sound like you have an agenda.
                  908B64B197 wrote 2 days ago:
                  Many Europeans told me they preferred hiring contractors
                  early on because the potential cost of a bad hire was just
                  too much for a startup.
                    bilekas wrote 2 days ago:
                    For a startup you probably don't have the capital /
                    financial support to ensure redundancy packages etc.
                    If you need someone to come in on your greenfield project
                    and hit the ground running, thats what contractors are
                    usually used for; the beginning and the end of the
                fnord77 wrote 2 days ago:
                In Sweden, many software engineers work as contract engineers
                for better pay.   Salaries for hired software engineers in
                Europe are dismal.
                  bilekas wrote 2 days ago:
                  > Salaries for hired software engineers in Europe are dismal
                  I strongly disagree, it might be all relative of course, but
                  dismal is not a word that would even come close.
                    mcv wrote 2 days ago:
                    No, they're still solid jobs compared to what lots of other
                    people get paid. But managers and other corporate types
                    still get paid a lot more. And self-employed, you can also
                    get paid that much, just not as an employee.
                goodpoint wrote 2 days ago:
                Close to none. Companies love to have employees.
            softwaredoug wrote 2 days ago:
            It would be really hard to pin the causality of something like
            this... some of the most 'entrepreneurial' places in the US are
            some of the 'bluest' areas
              analog31 wrote 2 days ago:
              How does this correlate with the population of educated people,
              and people whose spouses have health coverage? Red / Blue does
              correlate to education level.
              There could be other correlations as well, including having the
              technical ability to create something of marketable value,
              management experience from a previous job, a certain level of
              financial / career security, family members willing to invest,
              Blue areas may also be slightly more prosperous, creating a local
              market of customers (people and businesses) with money.
              throwaway0a5e wrote 2 days ago:
              > some of the most 'entrepreneurial' places in the US are some of
              the 'bluest' areas
              I'm not sure how you reach this conclusion.
              "Screw this I'm starting my own business" is far, far more common
              in the blue collar world than the white collar world and they
              tend to vote way redder.
                softwaredoug wrote 2 days ago:
                You could be right, I am thinking of California, but that's a
                very tech-centric position and I admit to my bias.
              bobthechef wrote 2 days ago:
              Right, but this correlation with "blueness" is, I think,
              accidental and doesn't account for small businesses.
              For example, I would expect more small local businesses in red
              states than blue states. The tech sector will favor large
              corporations because of the magnitude of investment involved, at
              least traditionally (if we are to believe the "economies of
              scale" explanation; some challenge it, but at the very least, it
              is causally relevant). So you might see more startup
              entrepreneurship in blue states because that's where the tech
              expertise is already concentrated. And because those in tech tend
              to have college degrees at higher rates, and colleges tend to
              encourage neoliberal and left-leaning views, you should expect to
              see more tech in blue states because of that, so you have a
              self-reinforcing process (there are of course other
              But I wouldn't attribute entrepreneurship to the presence of
              social programs. On the one hand, those who need social programs
              are not going to be very educated and are most likely going to be
              much more interested in making basic ends meet over some business
              venture. On the other hand, once they receive social benefits,
              they are often not very motivated to try to start a small local
              business like a food cart either since they have food on the
              table. So you need to appeal to cultural factors to account for
              motivation as well.
            ipv6ipv4 wrote 2 days ago:
              belval wrote 2 days ago:
              Does Israel have a lot of startups because of free healthcare or
              simply because it benefits from a culture that encourages
              startups? They also have a higher average education level which
              probably helps to some extent.
              No saying that healthcare is not a factor, I just doubt that the
              parent's explanation that free healthcare is holding back
              would-be entrepreneurs is well-founded.
            zz865 wrote 2 days ago:
            Agreed it seems a paradox.
            Maybe it really is socialism kills entrepreneurial spirit. If you
            can be an artist or a 35hr/wk public servant and live well, why
            bother being an entrepreneur?
              mcv wrote 2 days ago:
              > If you can be an artist or a 35hr/wk public servant and live
              well, why bother being an entrepreneur?
              Maybe because I don't want to be a public servant? I mean, it's
              important work that needs to be done, but the impression I get
              from my wife is that it involves a lot of bureaucracy.
              If we had a basic income or something like that, it would be much
              easier to take the risk to become an entrepreneur.
              belval wrote 2 days ago:
              My take is that there is a whole culture side of things to
              consider. Some cultures will have a higher general opinion of
              entrepreneurs than others.
              In Quebec, Canada you still see a lot of that mindset where a
              successful entrepreneur is more associated with a slimy
              businessman than a smart person. It's slowly changing however.
                908B64B197 wrote 2 days ago:
                > In Quebec, Canada you still see a lot of that mindset where a
                successful entrepreneur is more associated with a slimy
                businessman than a smart person.
                Historically, didn't the employees speak French and the bosses
                From what I understood, there was very much a glass ceiling and
                discrimination, similar to what was going on here in the south.
                Capital wouldn't be loaned across ethnic lines for instance.
                That might contribute to the perception of entrepreneurs being
                shady: they historically were there to fleece the locals, not
                build and prosper.
          hsn915 wrote 2 days ago:
          Health Freedom
          "Freedom Care" sounds like an oxymoron. If you need "care" you are
          not "free".
          It's not about "care", it's about risk mitigation. You are not sick
          now, but you have no idea when you or one of your dependents might
          become sick and need $$$.
            mcv wrote 2 days ago:
            The care frees you from the burden of illness.
        beckingz wrote 2 days ago:
        Given how easy it is to lose a job if the demand for work dries up, it
        seems rational to switch to selling work on your own terms.
        At least while the market is good.
          vkou wrote 2 days ago:
          Depends on where you work. If you work for a large company, and
          depending on what you do for it, there might be enough institutional
          inertia that will keep you from losing your job until demand
        nine_zeros wrote 2 days ago:
        Coincides with the rise of the FIRE movement as well.
        It appears that humans want to not subject themselves to endless
        politics and meaningless bureaucracy in corporations. Given a choice,
        people want to live and die with dignity.
          refurb wrote 2 days ago:
          FIRE is an internet phenomena.    Don't mistake what you see on Twitter
          for the average person's experience.
          anonporridge wrote 2 days ago:
          I read the scifi book Dancing With Eternity years ago, and while it
          wasn't terribly good there was one element of the story that really
          stuck with me.
          The premise is a future where humanity has solved death via
          transferring consciousness between bodies. As you approach old age,
          you'd have a new body grown for you, but the process is quite
          The relevant bit is this society has organized itself by having
          people alternate between a life of corporate drudgery, as a cog in
          the soulless machine, and a life of being a real human. You'd sell
          your soul for a lifetime of corporate bureaucracy until your body
          expires in exchange for joy filled freedom in the next lifetime. This
          is the deal you make to earn your keep and pay for the rebirth
            denkmoon wrote 2 days ago:
            A 50/50 split between life and death/corporate drudgery would be a
              anonporridge wrote 2 days ago:
              We're certainly making progress towards that goal.
              Used be that people worked until they died. We chose to believe
              in silly fantasies like heaven as motivation to keep working,
              because eternal paradise would come after death.
              Then we started creating schemes like social security, but those
              were planned such that the age you could start collecting was
              within a few years of the average age of death. You'd still work
              most of your life and then maybe have a few years of feeble
              Now life expectancies have increased and people are even retiring
              earlier because we have secure ways to save and invest that plebs
              in our past never had. But most people still have to backload
              their freedom after they've lost most of the vitality of their
              One interesting question in my mind, is whether there is a
              causation between the belief in the afterlife and the amount of
              retirement people take in this life. Is the freedom to experience
              more years free from drudgery causing a decline in the need to
              believe in heaven, or is the decline in the belief in heaven
              causing people to check out of drudgery while they can and enjoy
              at least part of the only life we know we get to experience?
                burntoutfire wrote 2 days ago:
                Also, people are joining workforce many years later than they
                did even 200 years before. So, effectively, people used to work
                from when they were 10-15 till they died, and now they work
                22-65, if that. Effectively we already have an almost 50/50
                split between working and non-working years.
                  anonporridge wrote 2 days ago:
                  Kind of.
                  The youth of a lot of people is also a grind of schooling to
                  prepare for a career working. Youth are better off than in
                  the past, but if you're stressing full time studying, that's
                  basically the same thing as working.
          MisterBastahrd wrote 2 days ago:
          Also coincides with the rise of TikTok and people telling everyone
          else that in order to retire, all you need to do is own property and
          extract capital for it to create a neverending cycle of mortgage
            t-writescode wrote 2 days ago:
            TikTok is good at figuring out what demographic you are interested
            in. I have never seen FIRE stuff on TikTok. This may say something
            about what it thinks your interests are.
              MisterBastahrd wrote 2 days ago:
              I wish.
              I get that and all the crypto morons pushing NFTs to the point
              that the platform is almost unusable. I'm mostly on there for
              food ideas.
                geerlingguy wrote 2 days ago:
                I don't use it much, but when I do open it up, it seems like
                it's 99% construction memes. I must've hit like on one or two
                and now it's got me in that rut.
          zz865 wrote 2 days ago:
          FIRE movement is largely a result of crazy high salaries and a
          booming stock market, it wont last forever.
            anonporridge wrote 2 days ago:
            The original FIRE movement was all about living frugally, fighting
            lifestyle inflation and western hyper consumption, and saving like
            mad in order to invest early and take advantage of long term
            It's become perverted in recent years by high salaried hyper
            consumers who have started idealizing "fatFIRE", which is really
            only achievable by a small group of people.
              LaserDiscMan wrote 2 days ago:
              100% agree with this. The FIRE movement (or the equivalent before
              it gained this name) was about average people using frugality,
              investing, sensible leverage, and luck to get ahead and (semi)
              retire much earlier than usual. It has since suffered an influx
              (at least in popular online circles) of high earners scoffing at
              the idea that anyone could achieve financial independence with a
              frugal lifestyle. This despite the trivial mathematics proving it
              is indeed very possible for average earners, perhaps even more so
              recently given the bull markets.
              I've worked with some very intelligent, brilliant people, who
              simply cannot comprehend how their own financial spending is
              foolish, or more likely, know this and choose to play ignorance.
              I've always found it fairly bizarre, almost like an addiction.
              It's fascinating how some people can be so skilled in one domain,
              but so lacking in self-control, especially when obtaining said
              skill requires enormous self-control in the first place.
                anonporridge wrote 2 days ago:
                It is quite fascinating. I've known incredibly high income
                earners and brilliant engineers who have hundreds of thousands
                of dollars sitting in cash earning near 0 percent. It blows my
                mind how absurdly financially illiterate so many people are.
                And beyond that, so many of my peers hit the ground running on
                the hedonic treadmill right out of college, quickly filling up
                their consumption habits to meet their newly high income, while
                I continued to live low and plow huge amounts of my paycheck
                into my investments. Well, they're all still slaving away with
                no end in sight and I'm financially independent after many
                lucky breaks in my early investments that wouldn't have
                happened if I didn't have such a frugal mindset early on.
                It seemed so obvious to me that this would be the outcome. I
                still don't understand how so many people can't seem to grok
                how much early sacrifice can yield outsized reward down the
                  poisonborz wrote 2 days ago:
                  One of them here, although I'm working on it. There is a lot
                  of things here going on, and I don't think you can just stamp
                  this with "lol how reckless these people are"
                  - Separate investing and frugality/budgeting. I guess a lot
                  of those people do actually one of those, but not the other.
                  - You talk about high earners/engineers. In most of they
                  earning life they never knew the need to ration, or lacking
                  funds - so with the trajectory they see in early adulthood,
                  especially if they like what they do, and they're successful,
                  there simply isn't any recognizeable need to save for later
                  (or even retire early)
                  - Maybe you like dealing with money, watching stock news
                  early in the morning - I hate it. I hate the thought of
                  dealing with this. It's an active aversion. Of course, the
                  majority of investments should be "set and forget", but it's
                  not always apparent how (especially outside US) and you need
                  quite some research beforehand.
                  - Coupled with this, you put your life savings in a thing
                  that you don't understand, won't follow. There may be a not
                  entirely unfounded fear of South Park's "aaaand it's gone"
                  - There is something absolutely tempting about money sitting
                  directly available on an account. Especially when you're
                  young and single, you have no idea what happens with you next
                  year, or what you will probably spend on. Walling away your
                  funds is a critical and worrysome thought.
                  Sure, you can sum this all up as "financial illiteracy", but
                  they are still cemented in valid concerns or life
                  experiences, instead of mere negligence.
                    vineyardmike wrote 2 days ago:
                    > Of course, the majority of investments should be "set and
                    forget", but it's not always apparent how (especially
                    outside US) and you need quite some research beforehand.
                    I really wish things like annuities or pensions were
                    available for the 21st century economy. So many people
                    don't want to deal with investing and understanding markets
                    (which change!) and avoid making smart decisions.
                    There should be a way to just put money in a magic box that
                    pays a little bit back each year, and every time you put
                    money in it grows a bit more.
              zz865 wrote 2 days ago:
              > and take advantage of long term compounding.
              Yeah that is what I mean, what happens when the stock market
              drops 75% over 25 years? Not much compounding happening.
   URI        [1]: https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/%5EN225?p=%5EN225
                anonporridge wrote 2 days ago:
                That index is up over 25 years. You'd be even better off if you
                were buying during the bear periods. AND you're not including
                dividend reinvestment.
                A quick check here, [1] , with JPXN between 2002-2021 investing
                a static amount monthly and reinvesting dividends suggests you
                would have doubled your money over the period.
                Bad compared to US growth to be sure. You're right that Japan
                is a great example of how this strategy doesn't work as well
                for people locked in to stagnating economies.
   URI          [1]: https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/backtest-portfolio
                  burntoutfire wrote 2 days ago:
                  > That index is up over 25 years. You'd be even better off if
                  you were buying during the bear periods. AND you're not
                  including dividend reinvestment.
                  You, on the other hand, are not including inflation...
                  chii wrote 2 days ago:
                  > You're right that Japan is a great example of how this
                  strategy doesn't work as well for people locked in to
                  stagnating economies.
                  that's why you don't invest in a single region. A globally
                  diversified portfolio (which, to be fair, is more difficult
                  to achieve for people in some nations that's not the west) is
                  what's required to get the market returns.
                  zz865 wrote 2 days ago:
                  Yeah I meant 1989 to 2012. FTSE10 is flat from 1999 to 2021
                  as well.
                    anonporridge wrote 2 days ago:
                    Sure. You can cherry pick a time period in any index that
                    would be bad. That's why the 4 percent rule only works for
                    most retirement historical starting years, and why some
                    people choose to work towards a more conservative 3 percent
                    withdrawal rate.
                    Retirement always was and will continue to be a risk that
                    depends both on how much you've saved and how well the
                    economy will continue to function and grow once you're no
                    longer working. Like all things in life, nothing is
            maerF0x0 wrote 2 days ago:
            > FIRE movement is largely a result of crazy high salaries and a
            booming stock market, it wont last forever.
            Productivity per employer has gone up a lot, ideally everyone would
            be earning more, but at least some are. FIRE doesn't require a
            booming stock market to work... It simply requires places to put
            capital that return annually (ideally perpetually). For example
            buying solar panels is a form of capital sink that has a practical
            return annually, or sinking money into a home or insulation. At
            some point someone's savings + annual "income" will be enough to
            survive on.
              shukantpal wrote 2 days ago:
              No. Let’s say everyone in the world is relying on savings +
              investment income for living (the end goal of the FIRE
              movement?). Then who will produce food (no one is doing any
              FIRE is possible for everyone only when full automation is
                chii wrote 2 days ago:
                > who will produce food
                the people who have not yet FIRE'ed would have to do it, and
                they do it because they are getting paid by people who are
                FIRE'ed - presumably, with the intention of FIRE'ing themselves
                after reaching some target net worth. Unless you're claiming
                that somehow the population would stagnate and no new people
                would be born, this will continue to work.
                Why does it have to be possible for _everybody_ to be in the
                same position, at the same time, for FIRE to work?
                xur17 wrote 2 days ago:
                People that FIRE are still working - they're just compressing
                their working years vs higher income vs lower spending.
                Everyone is "producing food", just for a shorter portion of
                their life than normal.
                  batshit_beaver wrote 2 days ago:
                  It's not possible for everyone to FIRE, is the point.
                  Society needs to produce X amount of goods and services to
                  sustain itself. If insufficient goods and services are
                  produced, you get stagflation that kills your retirement nest
                  egg. It's reasonable to say that a society where everyone
                  stops doing work they don't like around age 35 cannot
                  possibly produce enough goods and services, unless these
                  people also die by 40.
                  I also don't buy the idea that it's possible to utilize only
                  ~10-20 years of high productivity from an average person to
                  sustain that person perpetually. This would only be possible
                  with much more advanced automation than what we currently
                  have, in everything from food production to medicine.
                  FIRE works for now because productivity continues to grow, at
                  least in the US, and in part due to population growth. It
                  also does only work for a small subset of the population (be
                  it high earners or high savers), because the larger this
                  subset, the higher the systemic  risk. And it's a bad idea to
                  advocate FIRE as a culturally sustainable approach to life.
                  That idea is absurd.
                    burntoutfire wrote 2 days ago:
                    > I also don't buy the idea that it's possible to utilize
                    only ~10-20 years of high productivity from an average
                    person to sustain that person perpetually.
                    Check out earlyretirementextreme.com
                    The author shows how it can be done in 5 years on a
                    sub-$100k salary. The catch though is that he doesn't have
                    children. With dependents, it would probably be more like
                    10 years.
                californical wrote 2 days ago:
                That’s definitely and decidedly not the end-goal. Most people
                don’t retire entirely, they just switch to work that’s more
                interesting to them, on their own terms. Maybe fewer hours.
                But I’ve never heard anyone proposing that nobody should ever
                work again — you still need to work for long enough to build
                up a big portfolio. Maybe you can choose to just work 20 hr
                weeks for your entire 40-yr career… or 60 hour weeks for 15
                years, then retire early. But the idea is that if people could
                consume much less, then we could build a better economy that
                supports everyone needing to work less in a lifetime.
                  maerF0x0 wrote 2 days ago:
                  additionally there is always a new generation of non retired
                  people who can do the non-automated tasks (in return for
                  their FIRE money)
            nine_zeros wrote 2 days ago:
            Even if the growth doesn't last forever, many people are beyond
            reasonable thresholds. Having made their money, people are
            downsizing in innovative ways - leaving America for 6 months for a
            cheaper country, relocating to a lcol place or even casually
            experimenting with starting another business.
            Short of a multi year recession, most FIREed folks will survive.
            You don't need to get another job when you can just downsize your
            expenses in bad years.
            saran2win wrote 2 days ago:
            You can FIRE with any salary range with thoughtful spending (save
            before you spend) and common-sense investing (buy-and-hold, cash
            generating assets). Though the recent stock market opens up many
            opportunities for FIRE, it is an age-old proven way to retire or
            do-your-own-thing rather living paycheck-to-paycheck
              lotsofpulp wrote 2 days ago:
              I do not see how this is possible for the bottom few income
              deciles considering healthcare costs.  Definitely not possible
              for many more income deciles if you have children and still want
              to protect against healthcare costs.
                sgerenser wrote 1 day ago:
                Healthcare costs are dirt cheap if you make between 133 and
                200% of the FPL. Look into ACA subsidies and “enhanced cost
                TheSmiddy wrote 2 days ago:
                Healthcare is easily solved by letting go of the requirement to
                live in the United States and living almost anywhere else.
              dQw4w9WgXcQ wrote 2 days ago:
              Good point, let's all FIRE tomorrow and see what happens.  That
              age-old "work to collectively add value to the economy" thing
              really gets old after awhile.
                zz865 wrote 2 days ago:
                Yeah its almost a new aristocracy where people have fun while
                everyone else works.
                  tonyedgecombe wrote 2 days ago:
                  The funny thing is most working people will look at the
                  spending levels required to achieve FIRE and decide they
                  don't want to make the sacrifice. They are in a prison of
                  their own making.
                  Of course it's easy to see how they arrived in this
                  situation. There is a constant stream of propaganda telling
                  us we need to spend in order to become successful. Without
                  that SUV you aren't a good parent, without the big house you
                  can't be a good partner, without the expensive holidays you
                  must be a loser. Thank Bernays[1] for all of this.
                  Not many people can resist that and take a different path
                  which is why we don't need to worry about "what if everybody
                  does it".
   URI            [1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays
                seattle_spring wrote 2 days ago:
                The only people who could FIRE are those that have saved enough
                to live on the interest. That definitely doesn't describe "us
                all," not even close.
                Also... I hate the power your username has over my mind. It's
                never going to give me up
            gitfan86 wrote 2 days ago:
            high salaries and booming stock market are the result of an
            increased standard of living due to technological advances. If you
            looked at the standard of living of a middle class person in 1975
            it would be worse than someone making $15/hour today on average.
            More and more people are not interested in spending 50+ hours a
            week in bullshit jobs to just be able to buy a Mercedes and join a
            golf club. A lot of us are perfectly happy driving Toyotas.
            californical wrote 2 days ago:
            Some will probably bail out of FI when the market slows/crashes in
            the short term, but some will definitely stick with it! People have
            been doing the same thing for 50 years, there’s just a community
            aspect with a name now.
        awillen wrote 2 days ago:
        I did it, and it's equal parts terrifying and awesome. My company's
        going to do six figures of revenue this year, which is amazing, but I'm
        having to figure out things like scaling fulfillment and manufacturing
        that are entirely foreign to me (my background is in enterprise
        software, now doing ecommerce). Never a dull moment!
          mylons wrote 2 days ago:
          good for you! what kind of thing are you selling? how much expertise
          did you have in it before?
            awillen wrote 2 days ago:
            Thanks! It's dog treat mix - our most popular product is a powdered
            mix that you combine with water and freeze for frozen treats.
            I had pretty close to zero expertise. I was an enterprise software
            PM, so things like setting up Shopify and finding a contract
            designer were in my wheelhouse, but everything involved with
            actual, physical goods has been new to me. Manufacturing, shipping,
            inventory management, fulfillment - been figuring it out from
            scratch. Largely going well, but definitely some hiccups along the
              mylons wrote 2 days ago:
              thanks for sharing the details! were you worried about entering a
              crowded space? is the frozen treat unique?
                awillen wrote 2 days ago:
                The nice thing is it's not an especially crowded space. There
                are a handful of treat mix products out there, and most are for
                baked treats (which we also sell, but definitely not at the
                level of the frozen stuff).
                On the frozen treat front, the biggest one is a Purina product
                called Frosty Paws, and I think my stuff is an easy sell
                against that for a few reasons. First, it's made with all sorts
                of unpronounceable ingredients, where my stuff is made with
                whole, high-quality ingredients (freeze dried meat, egg powder,
                whole wheat flour, etc.). Their form factor is also bigger - it
                basically comes in a cardboard cup that you'd get a scoop of
                ice cream in, which is big for a dog, compared to my bite-sized
                treats. Theirs is more of a birthday treat, where mine can be
                given regularly.
          Judson wrote 2 days ago:
          Feel free to reach out (email in profile) if you want to chat. I grew
          an e-commerce distributor to 8-digit revenue with in-house
          fulfillment and software development.
          Edit to add: It can be such an isolating experience. We had no clue
          what we were doing half the time. Hard to find anyone willing to talk
          that had been through it.
            awillen wrote 2 days ago:
            Thanks so much - I will do that soon!
          boplicity wrote 2 days ago:
          Honestly, I've become a bit scared of growth, as that just means more
          work, more responsibility, more hiring. Whatever happened to my nice
          little lifestyle business!!?!?
            fmitchell0 wrote 2 days ago:
            This is what I struggle with. We did well this year and I think I
            can possibly hit my life goal of hitting my first 7 figures sales
            next year, but I'm not sure if I just want to stand pat and
            lifestyle the business or try to go for it.
            My reasons for going for it are 1) parents are aging and I want to
            help them with retirement 2) ride the wave b/c you never know when
            it will stop and 3) yolo.
            My reasons for not doing it are 1) it's a bunch of extra stress and
            work I don't want to do. Lol.
              mensetmanusman wrote 2 days ago:
              Hire well so you have to do less and less.
                fmitchell0 wrote 1 day ago:
                Definitely what I'm trying to do. I'm realizing I'm not that
                great at hiring, but good at mentoring. Any suggestions?
                  mensetmanusman wrote 1 day ago:
                  Create an extremely detailed checklist of your tasks for a
                  given month, then bucket then into what you do and don’t
                  want to do.
                  Finally, post a job opening (or 2) of the don’ts and
            anonporridge wrote 2 days ago:
            The problem is, if you don't grow, eventually your business will
            dry up and be out competed by competitors that do grow.
            The problem with growing, is that the more you grow, the more
            attention you'll attract from established big players, who will
            eventually jump into your game and likely destroy you.
            It seems to me that running a small business can never really be a
            sustainable, long term venture, unless you get very lucky with a
            niche that no one else notices. You either have to plan to
            eventually be destroyed, or grow into a giant.
              PeterisP wrote 2 days ago:
              Or you can sell and leave the growth worries to someone else.
              tonyedgecombe wrote 2 days ago:
              Even big businesses don't last forever. Eventually they get
              gobbled up by a competitor or a new leaner arrival disrupts their
              business or the market changes.
              >You either have to plan to eventually be destroyed
              I suspect letting go is difficult for a lot of people.
              stocknoob wrote 2 days ago:
            sushsjsuauahab wrote 2 days ago:
            Sell the excess business downstream :)
          jasondigitized wrote 2 days ago:
          Care to share a link to the product?
            awillen wrote 2 days ago:
            Sure - it's dog treat mix: coopersdogtreats.com. Our best selling
            product is [1] , which makes frozen treats - just combine the mix
            with water, pour into the ice cube molds and freeze. Ingredients
            are all whole and sourced from the US, product is made in the US
            and all that good stuff!
   URI      [1]: https://coopersdogtreats.com/products/pupsicle-starter-kit
          toomuchtodo wrote 2 days ago:
            awillen wrote 2 days ago:
            Thank you!
        readonthegoapp wrote 2 days ago:
   URI  [1]: https://archive.ph/FCRdw
   DIR <- back to front page